Kenalog Injections in the UK: A Controversial Hay Fever Treatment

Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP)
By Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP)

The JCCP has been established as a vehicle to promote patient safety in the world of non-surgical aesthetics and hair restoration surgery.


Since June 2023,  The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) has been alerted directly to several instances of illegal promotion of the Kenalog ® injection, a treatment for hay fever.

The Kenalog® injection, a prescription-only medication, is a branded injectable often used to treat inflammatory conditions. Its popularity among hay fever sufferers stems from its ability to temporarily suppress the immune system, reducing the severity of symptoms for many. However, it also carries a range of potential side effects, from headaches and dizziness to more serious issues such as mental health problems.

“Kenalog® is a steroid injection that the NHS stopped offering years ago because of the risk of serious side effects”. Despite this, some private clinics have continued to offer the treatment.

This particular treatment, which has sparked controversy in the UK, has led to nine complaints being filed with the JCCP within the last year against clinics or practitioners in the non-surgical aesthetics sector.

The complaints brought to the attention of the JCCP shed light on a significant problem within the industry. These cases emphasise the necessity of stringent regulation in the pharmaceutical sector, especially concerning the advertising and consumption of prescription-only medications.

The JCCP has raised several complaints about Kenalog® to the ASA, leading to rulings. You can find comprehensive information on the rulings in the links below:

Enforcement Update – Ads for Kenalog injections - ASA | CAP

An Enforcement Notice not to be sniffed at – Kenalog injections - ASA | CAP

Kenalog in the UK

In 2022, the MHRA revealed its plans to prevent clinics from promoting hay fever medications, highlighting Kenalog® as a specific treatment of concern identified by the  Government agency.

Promoting prescription-only medicines (POMs) to the public violates the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code (Rule 12.12) and is considered an offence under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMRs). This applies even if a licensed medical professional is administering the Kenalog® injection.

MHRA and CAP take action regarding a private clinic's advertisement of Kenalog injection

Despite their many campaigns, the UK's medical regulatory body, the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has taken action against Ruth Jackson Aesthetics in Cheltenham for promoting a steroid-based injection priced at £75 per dose.

This case highlights the crucial role of strict regulation in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in monitoring the promotion and utilisation of prohibited or restricted medications.

The JCCP maintains a close collaboration with MHRA and CAP to notify them of any violations of their codes.

We will continue to encourage both members of the public and professionals to raise any concerns if they feel that standards have not been upheld or duties have been violated. Our dedication lies in assisting users of our complaint service by supporting them in providing evidence to support their complaints, ensuring we have all the required information before proceeding with any actions.

The above serves as a warning about the risks and legal consequences associated with promoting prescription drugs without appropriate authorisation. It stresses the importance of regulatory agencies, healthcare providers, and the general public remaining vigilant to guarantee the safe and legal administration of treatments.

If you have any complaints regarding a practitioner or clinic, please visit www.jccpandme.org.uk/raising-a-concern to express your concerns.

Source - https://www.jccp.org.uk/NewsEvent/kenalog-injections-in-the-uk-a-controversial-hay-fever-treatment

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