Cosmetic clinic raids uncover illegal imports including human placenta injections

Cosmetic clinic raids uncover illegal imports including human placenta injections

Cosmetic clinic raids uncover illegal imports including human placenta injections

Updated 29 September 2017, 14:05 AEST

Seven cosmetic clinics across Sydney are raided by health authorities as part of an investigation into illegally imported beauty products and unlicensed nurses, prompted by the death of a woman after a botched breast procedure last month.

Seven cosmetic clinics across Sydney have been raided by health authorities as part of an investigation into illegally imported beauty products and unlicensed nurses.

The raids uncovered products and devices not listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods in four clinics across Haymarket, in inner-city Sydney, and Chatswood, in Sydney's north.

NSW Health said the products were illegally imported into the country from China and South Korea.

The haul includes antibiotics, botulinum toxin injections, hyaluronic acid dermal filler injections, very high-strength lidocaine local anaesthetic creams, antiseptic lotions, vitamin injections and antiviral tablets used to treat herpes.

Ampoules of human placenta injections were also found.

The Health Care Complaints Commission said the investigation was prompted by the death of 35-year-old Jean Huang following a botched breast procedure at a Sydney cosmetic salon last month.

Two women who worked at the Medi Beauty Clinic in Chippendale, where Ms Huang worked as the manager, have been charged with manslaughter and using poison to endanger life.

The investigation looked at allegations that nurses at some beauty clinics were not registered to prescribe or administer cosmetic drugs, chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

"We're also investigating the medical practitioners associated with the clinics to determine if the medical practitioners were exercising professional oversight as these products, such as Botox and dermal fillers, are actually prescription medication," she said.

No arrests have been made.

Cosmetic treatments 'not like having a cup of tea'

Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged anyone undergoing cosmetic treatment or surgery to check their practitioner was licensed.

"Giving your body over to somebody who may be using an illegal product — you may not even know what's in the product — possibly being administered by a person who has no medical training whatsoever is really a dangerous exercise," he said.

"I think some people think Botox is like having a cup of tea, well it's not.

"It actually can be potentially dangerous."

Mr Hazzard said the issue was a national one, as some people travelled to other states to exploit jurisdictional differences in legislation.

He called on Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to create a national strategy.

"I asked him whether he would effectively review what's going on federally," Mr Hazzard said.

Unknown quality and safety

NSW Health said the supply of goods that are not listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods was illegal.

"These products … are not assessed for quality, safety and efficacy by the Therapeutic Goods Association, and therefore are of unknown quality and safety," a spokesman said.

The raids also uncovered medical devices including syringes, cannulas, infusion sets, sutures and gauze packs.

If not listed on the register, supply is illegal.