Melanotan injections are illegal in the UK and Ireland due to safety fears. But the Which? Computing team found the jabs for sale at £31 on a UK-based website, along with instructions on how to inject them into the stomach. The website, Melanotan-Maverick.com, has since been shut down by the UK Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).
To date, the MHRA has closed 18 websites selling Melanotan, but says it does not have jurisdiction over companies that operate in the US and distribute Botox in the UK.The auction website removed the advert as soon as it was contacted by the magazine.
Botox injections are used to prevent wrinkles and lines. But the procedure is dangerous to carry out without medical expertise. In 2007, 55,000 Botox injections were administered in the UK. The UK Medicines Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) does not have legal jurisdiction over companies operating in the US. But it has upheld dozens of complaints over the advertising of Botox within the UK. An MHRA spokeswoman said the authority was investigating about 30 cases of Melanotan being advertised over the internet and there were seven ongoing criminal
The Guardian newspaper also featured the original Botox 'do it yourself kits' story stating that Which?
Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing, said: "It's easy to forget that Botox is actually a poison. We were appalled that we were able to buy a DIY kit so easily and are concerned that the internet is becoming a marketplace for cut-price cosmetic treatments."
Sky News also reported the story interviewing consultant plastic surgeon Nicholas Parkhouse, from the McIndoe Surgical Centre in West Sussex, who said "The idea of self-administration is absolutely crackers," "I would advise extreme caution when it comes to something like this. "It's not like injecting insulin if you are a diabetic, you really do need to have specific knowledge. "The effects of the botulinum depend on getting tiny amounts into exactly the right place. "Get it wrong and you could end up with weakness in your eye muscles and drooping eye-lids."
Sarah Kidner, Editor of Which? Computing said: "It's easy to forget that Botox is actually a poison, which if injected in the wrong area could produce some shocking results.
"We were appalled that we were able to buy a DIY Botox kit so easily and we are concerned that the internet is becoming a marketplace for cut-price cosmetic treatments."
# # #
The Ailesbury Clinic opened in Dublin in 2002. It was awarded Best Medical Practice at the 2005 Irish Healthcare Pharmaceutical Awards. It was selected as runner-up in the 2008 and 2009 finals of the Best Aesthetic Medical Clinic in the UK and Ireland.