Breast Implants: Plan For Industry Regulation
A national register logging every breast implant operation carried out in England is to be set up to prevent a repeat of the PIP scandal.
The Government has published provisional plans to improve the cosmetics industry in the wake of the scandal.
Nearly 50,000 British women unknowingly bought industrial-grade silicone from French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), with hundreds suffering ruptures.
The UK cosmetics industry is rapidly expanding. The industry was worth an estimated £2.3bn in 2010, and is estimated to rise to £3.6bn by 2015.
In response, Sir Bruce Keogh was commissioned to carry out a review. The Government supports many of his recommendations, including:
:: To pilot a new register to record what breast implants are used.
:: The Royal College of Surgeons will create new qualifications and standards for cosmetic surgery.
:: A clampdown on advertising to ensure no more breast implants are awarded as competition prizes or time-limited deals.
:: Legislation will ensure that surgeons have to compensate for an injuries caused.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter told Sky News: "For too long, the cosmetics industry has been completely unregulated and there are too many tales of women who have been exploited, and of lives ruined by rogue cosmetic firms and practitioners.
"This has to change, so we are taking robust action to clamp down on the cosmetic cowboys in order to properly protect women and the public.
"In January, we shall be setting out detailed plans about how to implement the recommendations made in last summer's cosmetics industry review by Sir Bruce Keogh."
While the industry is in support of the recommendations, Rajiv Grover, a consultant plastic surgeon and president of BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) said things would only improve if the register is made compulsory.
He said: "The implant register introduced into this country is only going to work if (it is) implemented and is made compulsory.
"Because only then can women be reassured there is no possibility that if a clinic becomes bankrupt or something closes that their implants will be register and they will know exactly what is inside them."
And Tim Goodacre, from the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), said: "We have been pushing for the creation of a compulsory register for breast implants.
"It is good the Government has announced its commitment to the breast implant registry pilot but in order to protect all women and avoid any future health scares it must quickly become a permanent infrastructure that all cosmetic providers have to use."
Jean-Claude Mas of PIP was found guilty of fraud after using industrial-grade silicone in thousands of breast implants sold worldwide.
The 74-year-old, dubbed the "sorcerer's apprentice of implants" by prosecutors, plans to appeal, according to his lawyer.
The scandal first emerged in 2010 after doctors noticed abnormally high rupture rates in PIP implants.
A global health scare took hold in 2011, with some 300,000 women in 65 countries believed to have received the faulty implants.
About half the 30,000 French women given PIP implants have had them removed. Only 607 women in Britain have had them removed by the NHS.
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