Ministers have announced that it will become illegal to offer dermal fillers without any training. However, surgeons have said that the decision not to classify them as prescription only has been labelled a “missed opportunity”.
Current law surrounding the cosmetic industry has recently undergone major scrutiny in light of the current PIP faulty breast implant scandal.
The cosmetic procedures industry has become dominated by non-surgical procedures including fillers and Botox, which holds 75% of the current market according to BBC News.
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS in England, warned fillers could cause lasting harm, however, they were only covered by the same level of regulation as ball point pens and toothbrushes.
He described it as a crisis waiting to happen and they should become prescription only.
BBC news reported that cosmetic surgery and interventions became an issue during one of the biggest health scares to face the industry – surrounding substandard breast implants made by the French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) – when a lack of records kept by surgeons meant women did not know if they were affected.
At the time there was also criticism of “win a boob job” competitions, mother-daughter offers and time restricted deals on surgery.
Ministers say other measures being announced will improve the whole industry including:
- A registry of breast implants to prevent a repeat of PIP.
- A review into a system of redress if things go wrong with treatment.
- More rigorous consent process to let patients have time to fully consider their decision to have surgery.
- A clamp down on irresponsible advertising with the help of the Advertising Standards Authority.
- The Royal College of Surgeons should set standards for the training and practice of cosmetic surgery.
In a statement, Sir Bruce Keogh said: “This is the beginning of a journey, not the end, but I am confident these changes will create a much safer and skilled cosmetic industry which should reassure both consumers and practitioners.”