(KCPW News) Physicians could soon dispense prescription cosmetic creams and inject weight loss drugs right in their offices, under a bill moving forward in the Utah Senate. Dr. Charles Stewart, a plastic surgeon in Provo, requested the bill so he could better monitor his clients using an eyelash thickening serum. But the bill was then expanded to include injectable weight loss drugs.
“The weight loss oral or injectable portion of the bill is something that I was surprised to see,” he said. “And I think that that is an issue that people who use that, or physicians who want to prescribe it or use it should deal with separately because they are very, very different issues.”
If the bill passes, it could increase business for physicians. But pharmacists oppose it, saying it encroaches on their profession. They also raised safety concerns about doctors dispensing weight loss drugs like hCG.
The Utah Medical Association was also surprised by the scope of the legislation. Executive Vice President and CEO Michelle McOmber says the UMA supported the first version of the bill, which dealt primarily with topical creams. She says 44 other states allow doctors to dispense prescription cosmetic drugs, but the issue will be how narrowly the state defines the term “cosmetic drugs.”
“That is the question and I do think that maybe some language needs to be found to make sure that we are looking at what we think we are looking at,” she said.
The bill passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this morning with a 4-to-2 vote. It’s sponsored by Republican Senator Curt Bramble.