Ban on remote Botox prescribing

  • Date: 20 July 2012

DOCTORS will no longer be allowed to remotely prescribe Botox under new guidelines from the General Medical Council.

The ban comes into force on Monday, July 23, and applies to all injectable cosmetics. This means patients seeking such treatments will have to arrange face-to-face consultations with their doctor.

The guidance is designed to ensure doctors fully understand the patient’s medical history and reasons for wanting the treatment.

Currently, doctors can prescribe remotely if they have adequately assessed the patient’s condition and are confident they can justify the prescription. But the new guidance takes a much tougher stance and requires a physical examination of the patient before injectable cosmetics are prescribed.

The new guidance states: “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.”

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: “These are not trivial interventions and there are good reasons why products such as Botox are prescription only. We are clear that doctors should assess any patient in person before issuing a prescription of this kind. So while remote prescribing may be the right answer in many situations, this is not one of them.”

The new rules on remote prescribing are included in the updated guidance document Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices which will be published later this year.

The new remote prescribing guidance can be accessed at  

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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