Skin Deep Blog

Doctors Must Not Remotely Prescribe Injectables: New GMC Guidance

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Practice managers and staff take note – from next week, Monday 23rd July, Doctors are to be banned from prescribing Botox by phone, email, video-link or fax under new guidance.

The GMC has said that medics can only prescribe Botox and other injectable cosmetics through face-to-face consultations with patients. The move will ensure that doctors discuss the reasons which the patient wants the treatment and that a patient’s medical history is looked at.

It also means that doctors must conduct a physical examination on the patient before making the prescription.

With the move the GMC wants to make it clear that while remote prescribing may be the right answer in many situations, this is not one of them.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: “We recognise that patients can benefit from communicating with their doctor by email, phone, video-link or fax, and that is fine as long as it is done safely. But our new guidance makes clear that doctors must now not prescribe medicines such as Botox remotely.

“These are not trivial interventions and there are good reasons why products such as Botox are prescription only.”

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, added: “Doctors must encourage a partnership approach, ensuring that patients are equal partners in their care and the decisions made about it.”

There will be an impact on the hundreds of aesthetic nurses who currently use remote prescriptions as a way to treat patients with injectable anti aging treatments.

Nurses who have independent prescribing qualification are able to prescribe any drug, including Botox, without the involvement of a doctor. Nurses without this qualification are legally allowed to inject the drug under a doctor’s supervision, but risk being struck off for doing this remotely, unless in an emergency.

Source: Hamilton Fraser

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