UK cosmetic 'guinea pigs'2nd August 2007
Which? magazine says insufficient regulation of cosmetic fillers in the UK is putting the public "at risk."
The magazine warns that injectable fillers used to treat signs of aging are tested in the UK before the US. Stricter regulations in the US mean only seven types of filler have been given a license, in comparison with 65 in the UK.
Jenny Driscoll, health campaigner at Which?, warned that, as new fillers came onto the market, regulations needed to "keep up with the science."
"If the Department of Health doesn't step up and recognise the flaws in the system, it is leaving Brits potentially at risk" she said.
The government has said it is reviewing current regulations.
400,000 people in the UK are treated with non-surgical cosmetic fillers every year. EU rules allow companies producing filler products to "self-certify."
Which? puts forward the case of Isolagen - a filler which used cells taken from a patient's own skin to treat their wrinkles.
Although the treatment was taken off the market in the US in 1999, it was launched in the UK in 2002. The magazine says the makers of Isolagen have put forward an application for a licence in the US by using research performed in the UK.
The company has stopped trading in in the UK and Europe.
A Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency spokesperson said the topic was currently under discussion and "the Department of Health are developing a voluntary self regulation scheme for cosmetic surgery and associated services as a whole."
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Title: UK cosmetic 'guinea pigs'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3614
Date Added: 2nd Aug 2007