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BCAM responds to the recent BBC news story regarding the seizure of unlicensed dermal fillers and suspected illegally traded botulinum toxin

The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) continues to push for regulation in Aesthetic Medicine to protect patients from the risk of dangerous unlicensed products and procedures after the BBC reported that thousands of pounds worth of unlicensed dermal fillers had been seized from a  Glasgow warehouse.

The operation was carried out by the criminal enforcement unit of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and among the unauthorised products found in the Glasgow warehouse were almost 400 non-compliant dermal fillers and 320 non-compliant needles/cannulas. More than 180 vials of unlicensed and suspected illegally traded botulinum toxin were also seized. Botulinum Toxin is a prescription only medicine (POM) and therefore can only be lawfully prescribed for administration by a regulated health care professional with prescribing rights, following a one-to-one consultation with the patient who will receive the treatment.

Due to the lack of regulation in the UK, you do not need to be medically trained to offer aesthetic treatments, so it is crucial that patients considering any procedure conduct research first. Selecting the right practitioner for a chosen treatment is crucial, and BCAM is committed to the advancement of safe and ethical aesthetic medicine to ensure the public is protected.

President of BCAM, Dr Catherine Fairris, says: ‘The British college of Aesthetic Medicine applaud the MHRA for their recent success in confiscating unauthorised injectable products during a raid of a warehouse in Glasgow.

Unfortunately, this recent development is not surprising. It is in part driven by the continued lack of regulation in aesthetics in general and by the reluctance of the government to restrict who can offer these treatments.

It is concerning to think that the general public could be put at risk by unscrupulous individuals using cheap counterfeit injectable products. Such products increase the risk of complications such as infection and granuloma.

We again, encourage the public to only seek treatment from qualified medical professionals such as doctors, dentists and prescribing nurses. We strongly advise the government to take action and work with the main stakeholders, such as ourselves BACN, BAAPS and BAD in refining the proposed regulations to a standard that promotes patient safety above else.’

BCAM Trustee Dr Nestor Demosthenous who is based in Edinburgh says: ‘The recent seizure of unlicensed fillers and toxins in Glasgow is very worrying. These products were intended for use, most likely by non-medical professionals on the public.

Non-medics are not adequately trained in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of many aesthetic concerns and indications and as a result, we have seen a massive increase in complications. As they cannot readily access licensed products, they often turn to unlicensed products. This is a recipe for disaster. Tissue necrosis, sepsis, paralysis and death are all risks resulting from the wrong people injecting unsafe products. This has to stop.

The British College of Aesthetic Medicine has been lobbying and advocating that the government regulate who can and cannot carry out specific procedures.’


Thousands of pounds worth of unlicensed dermal filler seized

About BCAM:

The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) is the UK’s leading representative body for doctors and dentists practising aesthetic medicine. The charity aims to promote safe, effective and ethical treatment for patients and clinicians through leadership, education, support and professional development.

Notes for Editors:

For further details, please contact the BCAM Professional Services Team

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