By Steven Cantrell, OD
July 27, 2016
There are many conditions that I prescribe hydrating eye drops for, but it’s important to me that I only prescribe natural drops. For those afflicted with dryness due to ocular allergies, chronic dry eye, contact lenses, glaucoma ophthalmic-induced corneal irritation, early cataracts and macular degeneration, I often recommend drops from Natural Ophthalmics. A key benefit is patients can use these drops with their contact lenses inserted, creating convenience and ease-of-use.
I have prescribed Natural Ophthalmics for about 70 percent of my patients. As usage grows, we expect to reach $20,000 in gross profits per year from sales of these products by the middle of fall 2016.
We are currently budgeting $6,000 in annual inventory of Natural Ophthalmics products.We inventory three dozen assorted products, as patients wish to purchase more than one item. Our greatest supplies of inventory are in our most commonly prescribed: Ortho-K Thick and Thin, Women’s Tear Stimulation, Tear Stimulation Forte and Cataract Drops and Pellets. Repeat use drives additional traffic because these products are only available in doctors’ offices, like ours.
Early cataract patients are excited to hear that Natural Ophthalmics Cataract Drops and Pellets may slow or stall progression. Our Cataract Drop and Pellet sales dramatically increased in 2016.
Dr. Cantrell keeps Natural Ophthalmics products, such as these bottles to ease dry eye from allergies, chair-side in the exam room. He says it encourages patients to give the products a try when they are easily on hand.
Look for Drops with No Preservatives
Preserved over-the-counter drops often lose effectiveness within a few weeks and leave the cornea in distress. Patients are unhappy and not sure why their contact lenses are not comfortable.
Natural Ophthalmics products are prescription quality while being curative and palliative. They are designed to correct and encourage tear production to manage chronic symptoms with no preservatives.
Choose a Product Usable with Contacts Inserted
Natural Ophthalmics drops encourage tear production, restore natural function, balance tear chemistry and maintain healthy tissue. Natural Ophthalmics products are preservative free, facilitate increased reserve and will not lose effectiveness over time while wearing contact lenses.
There is no way for a patient to “overdose” their eyes with these drops. I encourage patients to place two drops of Ortho-K Thin into their contact lens bowl prior to insertion. Doing so flushes debris to increase initial comfort. This also reduces unnecessary doctor chair time.
Prescribe Drops to Aid Specialty CL Patients
Non-disposable medically necessary contact lenses require major long-term corneal support. Natural Ophthalmics options provide many choices to customize each patient with tools for success. When seasonal hydration, care and cleaning are needed, we have light-to-aggressive solutions. Chronically ill patients must wear their lenses many hours per day. Natural Ophthalmics products offer a myriad of successful options, and our patients enjoy worry-free contact lens wear.
Cantrell Eye Care
Webster Groves, Mo.
Practice history: Purchased practice 1987
Support Staff: 3
Comprehensive Exams: 1,300-1,400 annually
Give Ortho-K Patients Greater Comfort
Ortho-K lenses can be a nightmare for both doctor and patient in managing discomfort due to dry eye. Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K Thin and Ortho-K Thick drops maintain healthy corneal tissue while fully hydrating the lens. Optical stability and patient comfort dramatically improve leading to long-term success.
Our most effective demonstration for the parents of patients is by having them use the same products we are prescribing for their child, and then to experience the benefits. These drops market themselves with the immediate greater comfort patients feel after trying it out.
Natural Ophthalmics products are kept in three locations: next to and behind the checkout counter and chair-side in the exam room to facilitate doctor recommendation.
Market Availability of Natural Eye Drops
Word-of-mouth advertising of our Natural Ophthalmics products has been our most effective form of marketing. Our area is surrounded by many rivers and agriculture which increases pollen and mold, and, therefore, eye discomfort and dryness. Patients notice an immediate improvement after trying the products, and tell their family and friends.
In addition, the Natural Ophthalmics brochure reinforces the doctor’s recommendation with take-home information to review later. Patients recognize there is not an equivalent OTC product, and our staff reinforces the dangers and unreliability of OTC products.
Advertising online, on a practice web site, or on social media, can also plant a seed in patients’ minds that these products are available in your office, and may help them.