Doctors are to be banned from prescribing Botox by phone, email, video-link or fax under new guidance.
Medics can only prescribe Botox and other injectable cosmetics through face-to-face consultations with patients, the General Medical Council (GMC) said.
The GMC made the move to ensure doctors fully understand the patient’s medical history and reasons for wanting the treatment.
The new guidance, which comes into force on 23 July, means doctors must conduct a physical examination on the patient before making the prescription.
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.
“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.”
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.”