Pharmacists may need to secure a licence to carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers under new Government plans to protect the public against botched procedures.  

An amendment to the Health and Care Bill, due to be discussed in parliament today, would give the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, the power to introduce a licensing regime for the non-surgical procedures. 

The Department of Health and Social Care said that although the ‘majority’ of the aesthetics industry shows ‘good practice’ when it comes to patient safety.

‘This step will ensure consistent standards and protect individuals from those without licences, including from the potentially harmful physical and mental impacts of poorly performed cosmetic procedures', they added.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris has previously referred to the cosmetic industry in the UK as the ‘wild west’ as cases of botched producers but unregulated practitioners continue to rise. 

Minister for patient safety, Maria Caulfield, said the spread of images online via social media has led to a rise in demand for Botox and fillers and subsequently there had been an increase in people suffering the consequences of badly-performed procedures. 

She said: ‘While these can be administered safely, we are seeing an unacceptable rise in people being left physically and mentally scarred from poorly performed procedures. 

‘Today’s amendment is the next step on the road to effective regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England.’ 

Amish Patel, director of Hodgson’s Pharmacy in Kent also welcomed the proposal which he believed would give ‘more control to the sector’. 

Mr Patel said that healthcare professionals should be ‘automatically’ given a licence to practice these procedures. He also said that the fact beauticians might be able to get a license made him feel ‘uncomfortable.’ 

‘As healthcare professionals, we are held accountable to health bodies whereas beauticians are not which I think is still a safety issue.’

This is the latest move to safeguard those who access non-surgical cosmetic treatments and follows on from new legislation making it illegal to administer such treatments to under 18s. 

Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can still provide under 18s with Botox or filler treatments but only for clinical reasons.  

In July, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on beauty, aesthetics and wellbeing published several recommendations for the Government on how it could address a current lack of a legal framework of standards around cosmetic treatments. 

Pharmacists offering aesthetic services in their pharmacies backed a call for dermal fillers to become prescription-only medicines (POM). 

Other pharmacists told The Pharmacist they believed that it should only be healthcare professionals who offer these treatments.