Why I think the new TGA changes are a good thing

Dr. Christopher Leat - Medical Director Envisage Clinic

There has been a lot of discussion recently about changes to TGA (Therapeutic Goods Authority) regulations regarding the advertising of cosmetic injectable treatments.

In reality there has been no change to the regulations, the TGA has only defined what it regards as a direct reference to prescription drugs in a more unambiguous manner.

Most clinics are having to change their websites and advertising, and Envisage Clinic is no exeption.

“Anti-wrinkle injections” and “Dermal Fillers” are synonyms used to advertise certain injectable drugs and treatments used for cosmetic treatments.

These products are generally all Schedule 4 prescription drugs in Australia – meaning that, like other prescription drugs, they cannot be advertised directly to the public.

This is different to other countries like America, and it’s a very good thing – it’s the reason why our TVs and radio are not chock full of adverts for the latest cholesterol, anti-hypertensive, or impotence medication.

The idea is sound – if you have an issue you should see a doctor, the doctor discusses the issue with you and, with you, decides the right treatment to use for you as an individual.

This may be a drug, but may also be a lifestyle change or some other form of therapy, or even a decision that you actually don’t need treatment at all.

When drugs are directly advertised to the public there is a strong tendency for patients to go to a doctor and ask for that specific medication, and a pressure on the doctor to prescribe it. If this was not the case drug companies would not spend the millions on advertising campaigns in counties like America that they do.

Cosmetic Medicine is Medical and should be no different. If you feel you have an issue (an ageing face, lines and wrinkles, damaged or weathered skin, looking older than you feel, asymmetry for any reason etc.) then you should see a medical professional with experience in the field for advice.

Like other conditions there may be more than one option for treatment. These might include skin care, IPL/BBL/Laser, growth factors and exosomes or stem cell treatment, and anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers. Quite often, after discussing with a patient, we have decided that actually no treatment at all is warranted. 

The cosmetic clinics and solo practitioners complaining most about the tightening of TGA advertising definitions are primarily the ones with only one treatment to offer.

They only do Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers, and so they have to advertise them. They simply are unable to treat a cosmetic patient holistically because they have no options for other issues – such as Rosacea, acne, melasma, and moles.

They are unable to diagnose skin cancers or other skin conditions, and many do not have access to prescription drugs and skin care or more advanced cosmetic injectable treatments.

This is one of the reasons why Envisage Clinic always gives time to consultations for a full discussion. We don’t quickly decide on treatment and rush through it.

So rather than giving some special offer on anti-wrinkle injections I am happy to say, as the TGA suggests, that here at Envisage Clinic we offer a variety of treatments for a variety of cosmetic concerns for men and women of all ages.

We offer treatments for lines and wrinkles, scars and volume loss, pigment and sun-damage, acne and rosacea, hair-loss in men and women, skin checks and mole removal, healthy lifestyle and fat loss, and much more.

And all consultations are free or Bulk Billed.

Article by Dr Christopher Leat –  Medical Director Envisage Clinic Benowa  

Dr Chris Leat Medical Director

Dr Christopher Leat – Medical Director Envisage Skin Clinic Founder and Director.

Dr Christopher Leat has 33 years’ experience in Medicine and is a member of The Royal College of Physicians of London.

Dr Leat has devoted the last 18 years to Cosmetic Medicine and is recognized throughout Australia as one of the most experienced doctors in the field of Cosmetic Medicine.