07/13/2012 (press release: OnlinePR) // The Harley Medical Group
Prescriptions administered over the phone or via the internet for commonly used cosmetic drug Botox are to be banned. The change means that doctors must have face-to-face consultations with patients before prescribing Botox and other injectable cosmetics to ensure they fully understand the patient’s medical history and reasons for wanting the treatment.
The move by the General Medical Council (GMC) follows an investigation into Dr Mark Harris of Harley Aesthetics, who was secretly filmed by BBC London selling Botox prescriptions over the phone, to patients who had not been properly checked out face-to-face by a qualified nurse or doctor.
Of Dr Harris’s practices, plastic surgeon Nigel Mercer told BBC London: “It’s not an appropriate way of providing medical services.” And he urged measures to be put in place by as a priority.
Chief executive of the GMC Niall Dickson said: “There are good reasons why these are prescription-only medicines and we believe doctors should assess any patient in person before issuing a prescription of this kind.” The new guidance, which comes into force on 23rd July, will update and strengthen these rules.
The Harley Medical Group, the UK’s leading provider of surgical procedures, and non-surgical treatments, including Botox injections for the treatment of lines and wrinkles and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), fully supports the planned move.
In all 31 of its clinics, The Harley Medical Group conducts face-to-face consultations with patients by offering a free computerised photo imaging skin analysis prior to administering any non-surgical treatment, including Botox and dermal fillers. The Group only allow their specialist doctors to administer Botox to patients where a physical examination must take place..
Of the call to ban remote prescriptions for Botox, Bernadette Harte, non-surgical training manager for The Harley Medical Group, said: “We welcome the call by the GMC for this practice to be banned.
“It is essential that the practice of offering patients prescription drugs over the phone or internet is stamped out as quickly as possible. Those doctors, nurses and clinics that do not currently assess patients in person, and thoroughly, prior to any cosmetic treatment are potentially putting people’s health at risk unnecessarily.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Harley Medical Group is the UK and Ireland’s leading cosmetic surgery provider, performing more procedures and with more clinics than any other cosmetic surgery group. It has been established since 1983 and is one of the most highly regarded Cosmetic Surgery Groups operating in the UK. It has treated over 500,000 patients to date.
The Harley Medical Group works tirelessly to maintain the highest standards in the industry for the benefits all cosmetic surgery and non-surgical patients. We are currently at the forefront of the campaign to ensure that the Government continues to regulate the use of certain laser types used in cosmetic surgery and non-surgical treatments such as permanent hair removal, so that patients are protected from rogue practitioners.
In 2004, The Harley Medical Group’s Chairman Mel Braham, at the request of the Department of Health became a member of the department’s Steering Committee, set up to oversee the introduction of new regulations covering the entire Cosmetic Surgery sector. All of The Harley Medical Group’s clinics are registered with the Care Quality Commission. There are now 31 clinics in the UK and Ireland: London (Harley Street, Wimbledon, The City, Chiswick, Finchley & Watford), Marlow, Birmingham, Leeds, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Chester, Nottingham, Southampton, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Dublin, Northampton, Cambridge, Maidstone, Belfast, Reading, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bromley, Glasgow, Cheltenham, Leicester and Guildford.
The Harley Medical Group is renowned for introducing and pioneering most new surgical and non-surgical techniques to the UK and Irish markets. All new treatments and techniques are first thoroughly researched and tested before they are submitted for approval by the Group’s Medical Advisory Board.
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