On the agenda: Anti-wrinkle treatments need regulation

Anti-wrinkle treatments are a 'crisis waiting to happen' and should be more tightly regulated, according to a report on the cosmetic surgery industry.

Treatments: More regulation needed
Treatments: More regulation needed

In more detail

The report, commissioned by former health secretary Andrew Lansley at the time of the PIP breast implant scandal, recommended better regulation, better training for practitioners and giving people proper redress if cosmetic procedures go wrong.

It found that non-surgical procedures such as fillers used to tackle wrinkles, Botox injections and laser hair removal are ‘almost entirely unregulated’ and in Europe, fillers are as lightly regulated as toothbrushes and ballpoint pens. 

The independent panel of eight industry experts, led by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, called for a number of measures to protect patients, including formal qualifications for everyone who injects fillers or Botox, making all dermal fillers prescription only, and a ban on special financial offers for surgery. 

PR strategy

The Department of Health handled the PR for the release of the report, following an embargo strategy with the panel available for interview on Monday last week, ahead of the report’s release on the Wednesday. Science and health journalists were invited to the press call while broadcasters were tipped off a week in advance to arrange filming and find case studies.

Media coverage 

The story was covered by every national newspaper and broadcaster, featuring a range of spokespeople from Keogh to panel member and BBC Breakfast TV doctor Rosemary Leonard. In addition, health minister Dr Dan Porter was available to give comment on behalf of DH.  

Key figures

£750m How much the cosmetic procedures industry was worth in the UK in 2005*

£3.6bn How much the cosmetic procedures industry is projected to be worth in the UK by 2015*

*Source: BBC

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