Women claim no doctor present for ‘botox-like’ treatment

Three women have told a court there was no doctor present when they got anti-wrinkle, botox-like treatments at a hair and beauty clinic in Dublin, writes Tom Tuite.

Anne Rossi, who runs the Anne Rossi Clinic at Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3, is being prosecuted by the Health Products Regulatory Authority on 18 counts under the Irish Medicines Board Act. The HPRA is the regulatory body for prescription medicines here.

She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is on trial before Judge John Brennan at Dublin District Court.

Anne Rossi, who runs the Anne Rossi Clinic, Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3, pictured outside court. Picture: CONOR Ó MEARÁIN

The court heard the term “botox” is a trademarked brand but not a product featured in the charges. It was used as a generic term for similar products containing the same active ingredient, botulinum toxin A.

Ronan Kennedy, prosecuting, said the case relates to a botox-like product called Dysport, containing the prescription-only substance botulinum toxin A. It is the prosecution’s case that it was imported into the State without permission and administered to customers by injection at Ms Rossi’s clinic. Mr Kennedy said it must be done by a doctor or a pharmacist.

Breffni Gordon, defending, said there was not a shred of scientific evidence to support the charges.

Bronwyn Molloy told the court that on October 30, 2014, she got a treatment to her forehead. She paid €300 for the treatment and said Ms Rossi explained it would eliminate creases.

She said she returned on November 20, 2014, and Ms Rossi administered what she assumed was botox to eliminate a crease on her forehead and she assumed it was authentic. She said there was no doctor present and she was not asked to complete a medical history form. The court heard the effects of the treatment lasted for about three months.

Denise Johnson said she went to the clinic in January 2015 and assumed it was botox injected in her forehead by Ms Rossi. She said she came back for “top-up” treatment 17 days later and afterwards she said she had an abscess on her forehead and stinging around her eyes.

Karen Harmon agreed with the prosecution that she went to the clinic on seven occasions in 2014 and requested a botox treatment which she said was injected into her forehead.

Skin surgeon specialist Muckesh Lalloo said he reported the Anne Rossi Clinic to the HPRA after a patient came to him with “one brow lower than the other”.

The court heard that Ms Rossi is a qualified nurse.

The trial will continue in October.

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