Ban on Botox prescriptions over the phone and internet

An investigation by BBC London has highlighted the need for the General Medical Council (GMC) to clampdown on how doctors prescribe Botox.  An undercover nurse secretly filmed a doctor teaching what have been described as “wrong and unacceptable” practices to nurses during a Botox training session.

The doctor in question was secretly filmed suggesting that, in order to obtain stocks of Botox to allow the drug to be used on walk-in patients, nurses could obtain prescriptions for Botox in the names of friends and family.  He also encouraged nurses to administer prescription drugs without a prescription if nurses were unable to reach him on his mobile when they had a patient expecting immediate treatment.  He would then call the patient after the drugs had been administered and retrospectively issue a prescription.

Currently it is not illegal to prescribe over the phone or internet however, it is against their professional guidelines for nurses to carry out the injections without a doctor’s supervision and this should only be done in exceptional circumstances.

The GMC have said that new rules will be published later in the week to stop doctors remotely prescribing injectable medicines such as Botox.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, said that “there are good reasons why these are prescription-only medicines and we believe doctors should assess any patient in person before issuing a prescription of this kind.”

Dr Nigel Mercer, former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, was shocked by the findings and said “this is a wake-up call.  It’s not an appropriate way for providing a medical service.”

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