Should Dermal Fillers be Made Prescription Only?

MPs have recently called for dermal fillers to be made prescription only and for practitioners to have completed standardised, regulated qualifications in order to perform the procedures. 

Currently anybody can perform a dermal filler procedure, there is no legal requirement to have attained qualifications, let alone be from a prescribing medical background. Qualifications that do exist are unregulated and vary greatly in terms of content and syllabus.  

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing met earlier this month and warned that the public is being put at harm if the situation is allowed to continue. It is calling for standardised licensing scheme to govern the industry. 

Dr Martyn King, GMC registered doctor, internationally accredited and award-winning aesthetics expert, ACE Medical Director, Vice Chair of the JCCP and co-founder of the Cosmedic Skin Clinic who was party to the parliamentary discussion comments on the proposed new laws, said:  

“Currently dermal filler is classified as a medical device, which basically means that anybody can buy it. If this type of product was made prescription only it would be a huge step to better regulation, ensuring only quality products are used and that practitioners have the medical background and training needed if complications should occur.  

“At the moment training for potential practitioners is fragmented and unregulated. You can pretty much go on a day course and start treating people after that. Anyone can create that training course too – there is absolutely no minimum requirement as to the content or practical learning. Some of the more comprehensive courses can be done in around six months, but again it is mostly virtual.  

“The only real governance is the insurance companies that cover practitioners. Most of those will say you need around 70 hours of learning, but the content of that learning isn’t qualified at all. Nor is the outcome.  

“There really needs to be a proper standardised industry recognised qualification – the JCCP is working on putting together an essential curriculum on what you should cover and that would include anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, complications management, prescribing, ethical practice and consultation. I’ve seen some of the curriculums that have been proposed and they’re very comprehensive.  

“If the Government was to go one step closer and make dermal fillers prescription only that means we’re talking three years of university training. It really would help to regulate the industry – at the moment people are being put at huge risk.”