GMC to ban remote prescribing of Botox

The General Medical Council (GMC) has said that new rules will be published later this week to stop doctors remotely prescribing injectable cosmetic medicines such as Botox over the phone or internet if they have not seen their patients face to face.  

The decision could impact salons and therapists who carry out Botox injections directly but rely on a doctor to prescribe the drug remotely. 
 
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, told the BBC: “We believe doctors should assess any patient in person before issuing a prescription of this kind.”
 
The news comes following a BBC investigation into Harley Aesthetics, one of the UK’s largest purchasers of Botox. 
 
The chain employs a team of nurses who are legally allowed to inject the drug if it has been prescribed following a phone call between the doctor and the patient. 
 
However, concerns were raised after the BBC went undercover and discovered the company allowing nurses to inject patients without prescription if they were unable to reach the doctor by phone, as long as they left the phone number for the doctor to call the patient after treatment. 
 
In a statement, Dr Harrison said the use of prescriptions in one person’s name for the treatment of others was “common, almost universal practice throughout the aesthetics industry” and had “no consequence for patient safety”.
 
Senior doctors told the BBC that this amounts to a potential safety risk and would mean the nurse is breaking the law by injecting Botox without a prescription.