Remote prescribing Botox – what’s the problem?

In January this year a Harley Street cosmetic doctor was suspended by the GMC, having been found guilty of encouraging nurses to obtain Botox illegally and authorising them to administer the treatment by speaking to them over the phone.

To many members of the public, this might not seem to be a problem, so the team here at Dr Joney De Souza Aesthetic Clinic in London decided it was time to put things straight about Botox.

Why does Botox need to be prescribed?

Anti-wrinkle injections are not just ‘cosmetic’” treatments in the true sense of the word – the product used is botulinum toxin, which can have serious implications if administered wrongly. Not only that, but the procedure involves injecting directly into the muscles of the face. This means that it should always be performed by a medical professional with a good knowledge of facial anatomy.

What’s wrong with a nurse injecting Botox?

Of course a nurse can inject Botox, if she is trained in performing the procedure, and providing either that she is a registered Independent Nurse Prescriber or that the patient in question has seen a doctor – face to face – and had the product prescribed for them.

The problem with ‘remote prescribing’ is that the nurses in question are not qualified to prescribe the drug and the doctor has not seen the patient, so cannot be sure that a full medical history has been taken or the procedure, including risks and benefits, explained fully.

Isn’t beauty big business now?

One of the main problems raised by the GMC about this particular doctor’s behaviour is that he behaved as a ‘businessman, not a doctor’. This is an issue because when we undertake medical training, it is with the understanding that we should always have the patient’s best interests at heart.

By prescribing Botox without having met the patient, this doctor was displaying a disregard for that patient’s health, which could have been compromised had the product been injected wrongly or without any contraindications being revealed.

Here at Dr Joney de Souza Aesthetic Clinic in London, every patient wishing to undergo anti-wrinkle injections has a face-to-face consultation with Dr Joney prior to the treatment being performed.

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