RTÉ documentary highlights Botox being administered illegally in Ireland

Published 04th Mar 2024 by Karina Corbett

An RTÉ documentary that aired on Monday, 4 March has highlighted how Botox is being administered illegally in Ireland.

RTÉ Investigates: Botox & Beauty at Any Costs showed how prescription-only beauty procedures are being administered by unqualified people around the country.

It also revealed that large quantities of prescription-only products, including Botox, are being brought into Ireland, with one major supplier selling the product from Korea. 

Only doctors, dentists or registered nurses are legally allowed to administer Botox in Ireland, however the documentary makers have uncovered a number of occasions where it was distributed by someone illegally.

One such case features an unqualified, unlicensed individual running a beauty salon from the bedroom of her Dublin apartment, which she advertises via social media.

There is currently no age restriction for anyone receiving Botox in Ireland – it is at the discretion of a qualified administrator. In 2016, a Patient Safety (licensing) Bill was introduced, and went through an Oireachtas Health committee in 2018. It has yet to come through the Dáil.

As part of enforcement activities, more than 10,000 dosage units of medicines containing botulinum toxin, hyaluronidase of lidocaine have been seized by the Health Products Regularity Authority (HRPA).

The HRPA told RTÉ Investigates that it has successfully taken four prosecutions for breaches of legislation pertaining to the administration, distribution, sale or advertisement of prescription medicines containing botulinum toxin.

President of the Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons Professor Jack Kelly said he was “shocked and stunned” after viewing the undercover footage from the documentary. “This is actually more urgent than many people realise and more and more patients are being put at risk,” he added.

Karina Corbett

Karina Corbett

Published 04th Mar 2024

Have all the latest news delivered to your inbox

You must be a member to save and like images from the gallery.