A Dublin beautician has been fined €10,000 for unlawfully giving Botox-like treatments to clients at her salon.
Anne Rossi, who runs the Anne Rossi Clinic, at Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3, was prosecuted by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) for offences under the Irish Medicines Board Act. The HPRA is the regulatory body for prescription medicines in Ireland.
She pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The trial before Judge John Brennan at Dublin District Court began in 2017 but ran into legal arguments about admissibility of an alleged admission into evidence. Prosecutions and defence lawyers then sought clarification from the High Court.
The District Court prosecution resumed on Wednesday, and barrister Brian Gageby, for the HPRA, said eight charges could be withdrawn.
Judge Brennan finalised the matter by imposing fines on the 10 remaining charges, totalling €10,000, with eight months to pay. He also set recognisance at €300 in the event of an appeal.
The trial had heard that Botox was a trademarked brand name but not a product featured in the charges. However, it was used as a generic term for similar products with the same active ingredient, Botulinum Toxin A.
HPRA inspector Niall McCarthy told the trial he was granted a search warrant and went to Ms Rossi’s home on Howth Road in Raheny, Dublin. Invoices from a health products supplier for Dysport, a Botox-like drug, were found. She told him that there was Dysport at her business premises.
Dysport was found in a fridge at the clinic and Ms Rossi, a former psychiatric nurse, was interviewed under caution, the trial heard. Mr McCarthy said that during the interview, she admitted she had administered Botox-like treatments using Dysport and had been doing so for the previous year.
In her statement, she said she injected customers at a cost of about €250 to €300, the trial heard.
He said Ms Rossi told him, “I knew I was on a sticky wicket for the last year or so”. He said she knew that the product was subject to prescription control.
The HPRA inspector said she claimed that she had been trying to find a doctor to administer the treatment at her clinic but could not get one.
Dysport contains the prescription-only substance Botulinum Toxin A. It was the prosecution’s case that it was unlawfully imported into the State without permission and administered to customers by injection at Ms Rossi’s clinic. The prosecution submitted that a doctor or a pharmacist must do it.
Three women had told the court that they had received the Botox treatments in 2014 and 2015 at the beauty clinic from Ms Rossi, and no doctor was present.
Dr Muckesh Lalloo, a skin surgeon specialist who works out of an HSE clinic at Blanchardstown Primary Care Centre in Dublin, told the court he reported the clinic to the HPRA after a patient came to him with “one brow lower than the other”.
He said it was consistent with the “inexpert administration” of Botulinum Toxin A, which has a freezing effect.