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Nutraceutical Distribution: What’s Right for Me?

Many practices have begun adding nutritional supplements to their patient protocols. Clinical research supports the effect that nutrition can have on eye health, but it’s still a major undertaking to bring nutraceuticals into the practice. There are so many ways to do this, it becomes almost paralyzing to try and sort through and find what option(s) works best for your practice.

Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO, took some of the legwork out for you and put together an analysis of the pros and cons of the most popular ways to offer nutraceuticals. Below are a few options,  along with the pros and cons of each.

Retail Model

The retail model is a more “hands-off” approach. A practitioner prescribes a certain ocular nutrition product, but ultimately, it’s up to the patient to find that product either online or in a retail market.

Pros for Practitioners

  • Responsibility of finding the nutraceutical is on the patient
  • No need for inventory
  • Ability to recommend whichever product will help the patient the most

Pros for Patients

  • Ability to find it in a cheaper setting (big box store membership, etc.)
  • No pressure to purchase in the practice

Cons for PractitionersWhen finding a nutraceutical in a retail store, patients can become overwhelmed with the choices.

  • Relying on the patient to get the right product
  • No added revenue from nutritional supplements
  • Patients may not buy the product at all

Cons for Patients

  • Must make a second trip to purchase nutraceuticals
  • Could get overwhelmed at a retail store
  • Unsure of the quality of the product(s)

Online Model

This is like the retail model, but instead of sending patients to a crowded, overwhelming retail store, the practitioner gives patients a specific URL to go to.

Pros for Practitioners

  • The responsibility still on the patient, but with more control
  • Still no inventory
  • Added revenue stream

Pros for PatientsThe online method is like the retail model, but instead of sending patients to a crowded, overwhelming retail store, the practitioner gives patients a specific URL to go to.

  • Access to customer service through that website
    • Can answer additional questions
    • Can help with the purchase process
  • Subscription services available
  • Trust the product because it’s exactly what the doctor recommended

Cons for Practitioners

  • Even more options online
  • Patients could forget to credit the doctor
  • Patients may not be technologically savvy

Cons for Patients

  • Could become overwhelmed with even more options online
  • May find a coupon and go to a different product than the one you prescribed
  • May forget or lose the URL

EyePromise Prescriber

EyePromise offers a program similar to the “online model.” By becoming an EyePromise Prescriber, you prescribe an EyePromise product to your patients, and they can purchase either through our website or by calling in. In either instance, you’re credited with every patient purchase via your unique doctor code, and you don’t have to worry about keeping inventory. EyePromise also offers tools like postcards and patient brochures to help patients remember the URL and doctor code you give them.

As an EyePromise prescribing partner, you can offer 6 in 10 patients the benefits of clinically-proven nutritional intervention.

By prescribing EyePromise, you can be certain your patients are receiving the quality nutrients their eyes need. With an extensive portfolio, EyePromise has a product that can benefit 6 in 10 patients in your practice. Our expert Customer Support team is available during business hours, and there’s always a real person ready to help with whatever they can. With convenient ordering options and a subscription program called Auto Refill, your patients can trust they’ll get their nutraceuticals when they need it.

Learn more about becoming an EyePromise Prescriber.

In-Office Model

The in-office model is exactly what it sounds like: you keep product in-house so that patients can leave with exactly what you prescribe them. For example, Dr. Brujic shared in his article, “Our practice initially started retailing ocular nutritional supplements because several patients were coming back to us after we prescribed what to take, not knowing which formula to purchase outside of the practice. We now provide the opportunity to purchase the ocular nutritional supplements from our practice as a convenience to the patient and to minimize any confusion regarding which formula the patient is to use.”

Pros for Practitioners

  • Know exactly what each patient is getting
  • Additional revenue stream

Pros for Patients

  • No extra trip
  • No headache from the retail aisle
  • Trust the product they’re given

Cons for Practitioners

Having nutraceuticals in office has its benefits, like more revenue upfront, but it can be a big investment, too.

  • Requires inventory
  • Extra time and monetary investments
  • Need somewhere to keep the inventory

Cons for Patients

  • The inconvenience of having to go back in-office for more product
  • May not have the money at the moment to buy several months of supplements

Combination Model: EyePromise Dispenser

Perhaps there’s no one way that would work for your practice. Choosing any combination of nutraceutical options can begin to integrate with your practice needs. The EyePromise Dispenser program is a good example of how you can use a combination of techniques.

As part of the EyePromise Dispenser program, you still have access to all EyePromise products through “prescribing,” but you don’t have to keep them all in practice. You can start with 1 or 2 products and expand from there depending on your patients’ needs. After the initial in-office purchase, you can send patients online to eyepromise.com or have them call in, and you’ll still receive that credit as if they bought from you directly.

To make it even easier, you can enroll your patients in EyePromise’s Auto Refill program. This gives them the opportunity to spread out the payments while staying on track with their vitamin regimens.

Learn more about becoming an EyePromise Dispenser.

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