Botox Industry Register Launched In UK

Back in September of 2010 the UK launched a government-backed registry for providers of injectable cosmetic treatments such as botox and dermal fillers.

It seems to be something of a simple list rather that any kind of licensure since those who meet the standards for the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services' voluntary register, will receive a "quality assurance mark" that they can use to help promote their services.

The IHAS hopes people will be steered away from "Botox parties" or treatments offered in inappropriate locations and that if enough providers are using this mark that they can influence the market and get patients to actively look for it.

Of course such self regulation in the guies of some sort of association will not stop bad practice and the register has had limited success with the growing demand for Botox and dermal fillers.

When launched in 2010 the IHAS estimated there were currently about 5,000 providers of injectables in the UK, carrying out about 200,000 treatments each year but current figures suggest far higher numbers of people in the UK are seeking out these treatments and license providers are hearing the occasional story of back-alley treatments that have gone wrong.

The new register of injectable cosmetic providers represents an attempt by the injectables industry to regulate itself and get ahead of potential problems... but it will be funded by the treatment providers who must pay registration and annual fees to join so it feels and acts more like a private association rather than a licensing body.

To get on the register you must promise that all prospective clients receive a face-face consultation in a clean and safe clinical setting before they're treated by a doctor, dentist or registered nurse.

Not popular with plastic surgeons.

The new retistery has already come under heavy criticism from British plastic surgeons. (A recent poll among members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons found only 4% would consider signing up.)

The organisation's outgoing president Nigel Mercer says the scheme is more about clinics marketing their services than protecting the consumer.

"Self-regulation hasn't worked in the Houses of Parliament has it, and it hasn't worked in the banking industry, so why would it work in cosmetic medicine?" he said.

"Self-regulation effectively means it's a free for all."

He also points to new European regulations that are currently under consideration, which he says, offer a more robust alternative.