Stronger botox and filler safeguards on the cards

There’s a fresh crackdown on advertising and regulations for botox, fillers and other cosmetic procedures.

All registered practitioners will be expected to adhere to new rules around treatments and how they are advertised in early 2024, with consultation set to begin in coming months.

They are likely to place a stronger emphasis on pre-procedure consultations and informed consent, including for prescription-only cosmetic injectables like botox.

The use of ‘before and after’ images, practitioners’ qualifications and clearer rules on the use of social media influencers are also set to feature in the new regulations.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency chief executive Martin Fletcher said the organisation wants to ensure practitioners are doing everything necessary to keep the public safe.

“Getting these services is not like getting a haircut – these procedures come with risk,” Mr Fletcher said.

“We want to ensure the public knows what safe practice looks like.”

He said the growing use of the procedures provided by a wide range of practitioners created potential for a larger section of the population to be at risk of harm.

The crackdown on non-surgical procedures comes a year after an independent report found evidence of unsafe practices, misleading advertising and substandard marketing across the cosmetic surgery industry.

It made 16 recommendations to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and Medical Board of Australia, who say work is well underway to implement all of them.

The regulator set up a cosmetic surgery hotline last September and it has already received 428 calls from concerned patients, doctors and others.

It lead to 179 formal complaints and procedures, 14 doctors leaving the profession and a further 12 having restrictions put on their registration.

Recent examples of issues under investigation include a woman who was given a series of fillers by a doctor even though she had a history of mental illness, body image issues and had been unhappy with 10 previous non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Another was a woman who suffered a cheek infection after a botched cosmetic threat lift procedure and needed several surgeries to fix her appearance.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has also recently strengthened its position on who can work in the cosmetic sector.


Rachael Ward
(Australian Associated Press)


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