Allergan has received a license update for Botox (botulinum toxin type A) in the UK, clarifying that appropriately trained and qualified healthcare professionals, including specialist nurses and physiotherapists, are able to administer the product to patients.
The update comes as previously, the licence merely referred to “physicians”, prompting confusion over who is able to inject the treatment.
The company announced that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted the update in order to help to remove any barriers in practice that may have been experienced by nurses and other therapists involved with the use of the product across neurology, rehabilitation and urology – ensuring easier access to treatment for patients.
Currently, Botox is approved for the treatment of certain cases of focal spasticity, ankle and foot disability due to lower limb spasticity associated with stroke in adults, symptomatic relief of blepharospasm and chronic migraine among other things.
“The management and care of patients with muscle spasticity after stroke is complex, with physiotherapists playing an integral role in rehabilitation,” said Dr Rhoda Allison, consultant stroke physiotherapist, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust. “Ensuring that we are included as healthcare practitioners who can administer the product will allow us to more effectively treat patients who can benefit from treatment, and improve access to treatment.”
The decision to increase the pool of healthcare professionals that can administer the product is being hailed as “positive, not only for the patient but also for us as healthcare practitioners,” according to Susie Lagrata, headache and neuromodulation lead nurse, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
She continued, “This announcement acknowledges the significant role that nurses, as part of a multidisciplinary team, play in treating chronic migraine patients, while also making it easier for patients to receive this important therapy.”
Allergan, the company behind Botox, is set to be officially acquired by AbbVie by May, in a mega-merger announced in June last year.