[Updated] MPs' call for Government regulation of injectables: industry reaction

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing (APPG BAW) called on the Government to address the absence of regulation over botulinum toxin and fillers with a report which makes 17 recommendations to help plug the regulatory gap

The group’s final report into botulinum toxin, fillers and similar aesthetic non-surgical cosmetics treatments has come after a year-long inquiry into the issue due to the explosion in the popularity and availability of these treatments, as well as concern around the lack of a legal framework of standards, which the APPG says leaves consumers at risk and undermines the industry’s ability to develop.

The APPG investigated practitioner standards and qualifications, the case for a registration of practitioners or licensing, ethics and mental health considerations, and the serious issues around advertising and social media – this is particularly timely as the ASA has reported that complaints against health and beauty adverts are up 40%.

What recommendations have the APPG made to Government?

The Group, chaired by Carolyn Harris MP and Judith Cummins MP, has made 17 recommendations for Government to plug the regulatory gap, including:

Download the APPG’s full report now.

Beauty industry reaction to the APPG report

Lesley Blair from BABTAC commented: “BABTAC has been advocating for change to regulations, especially on these invasive treatments for a long time - we contributed to the Keogh Report back in 2013 and also work with and support the APPG. Our Make Beauty Safe Campaign was launched last year to further highlight the lack of current regulation and accountability to both the industry and consumers. We wholeheartedly support the findings of the APPG report and agree that urgent change is necessary.

"As an organisation that promote best practice, high levels of professionalism and fit for purpose qualifications in beauty we made the difficult decision ourselves not to insure botulinum toxins and dermal fillers & PDO Threads. For us this was due to the lack of accountability and regulation governing both the training, procedures and products currently together with the fact that only prescribing practitioners are able to manage any complications, safely and legally.”
Professor David Sines CBE, the chair of JCCP, commented: “After a lengthy period of discussion with practitioners, consumers, patients, stakeholders and politicians, we have concluded that in the interests of patient safety and public protection, high-risk and potentially harmful procedures, such as the insertion of dermal fillers or the injection of toxins should only be administered by appropriately trained healthcare professionals."
"I welcome the APPG report, and I would urge the Health Minister, Nadine Dorries MP, to act on the recommendations as quickly as possible. It is increasingly apparent that at this time high-risk procedures, like the injection of toxins and the insertion of dermal fillers should only be administered by healthcare professionals who have the necessary skills, qualifications and competence in these areas. In terms of the regulation of products, the JCCP welcomes the APPG’s recommendation that the regulation of dermal fillers must be brought into line with injectable toxins as a Prescription-Only Device”.

Carina Fagan, chief academic officer of VTCT, commented: “VTCT fully support this report by the APPG on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing. The proposed recommendations reflect our position of raising standards and encompassing the needs of our industries. It is in the best interest of both consumers and practitioners to ensure that the industry is safe for all through robust training and qualifications."

What research informed the APPG report?

These recommendations are based on evidence given in public inquiry sessions and written submissions from a wide range of stakeholders, including trade associations, aesthetics industry operators, trainers, practitioners, health bodies, regulatory agencies and consumers themselves.

However, the APPG did state on its website: “There is much good practice from aesthetic practitioners in the beauty and medic industries, but also cases of poor practice from both. It was not the APPG’s intention to state who should or shouldn’t be allowed to become a practitioner, but ensure all practitioners gain the appropriate training and prove their competence to deliver advanced aesthetic treatments.”

What the APPG chairs said about the report:

Cummins and Harris commented: “We strongly urge the Government to implement the recommendations in our report and to take action to improve the situation for the benefit of the industry and public safety. Maintaining the status quo is simply not an option.  

“For too long there have been next to no limits on who can carry out aesthetic treatments, what qualifications they must have or where they can administer them.”

They added: “We launched this inquiry as we were deeply concerned that as the number of advanced treatments on the market continues to grow, the regulation remains fragmented, obscure and out of date, which puts the public at risk.

“We were also particularly concerned about the advertising and social media promotion of these treatments and how to make sure vulnerable people, such as children and those at risk from mental ill-health, are protected.”

What do you make of these recommendations made by the APPG? Tell us your thoughts below. 

Did you know? A third of people with a skin condition say it affects their mental health