New GMC guidance – doctors must not remotely prescribe Botox
Doctors are to be banned from prescribing Botox by phone, email, video-link or fax under new guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC), it was announced today (12th July 2012).
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.
Under current GMC guidance, doctors must adequately assess the patient’s condition before prescribing remotely and they must be confident they can justify the prescription. Where doctors cannot satisfy these conditions, they must not prescribe remotely.
The new guidance, which comes into force on 23rd July 2012, updates and strengthens these rules.
It introduces a complete prohibition on prescribing cosmetic injectables, such as Botox, without a physical examination of the patient. Doctors who continue to prescribe Botox or similar products remotely will be putting their registration at risk.
The GMC recognises that remote prescribing may be appropriate for some drugs and treatments for some patients but stresses that doctors must consider the limitations of any electronic communication with their patient.
The guidance, which will be issued to every doctor in the UK, states that:
You must undertake a physical examination of patients before prescribing non-surgical cosmetic medicinal products such as Botox, Dysport or Vistabel or other injectable cosmetic medicines. You must not therefore prescribe these medicines by telephone, fax, video-link, or online.
This directive means that patients will in most cases need to seek out Registered clinics to have their Botox treatments such as Skin Medical located in Manchester and Leeds city centres.