Botulinum toxin is a prescription-only medicine and its sale and use is governed by the Medicines Act 1968. Only specified persons such as doctors and dentists can order and receive wholesale supplies of botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin can be prescribed only by an authorised prescriber—a doctor, a dentist, a nurse independent prescriber and a pharmacist independent prescriber, and administered by the practitioner themselves or under their direction. Treatments involving botulinum toxin must not be advertised direct to the public. In addition, any clinical professionals involved providing treatments which make use of botulinum toxin should adhere to the codes of professional conduct set out by their regulatory bodies.
There are no plans to change the requirements set out above. However, to supplement these requirements, the department has asked the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service to take the lead in setting up a self-regulatory scheme to improve the quality and safety of non-surgical cosmetic treatments, including those which involve botulinum toxin.