March 20, 2019
Natural products give you an opportunity to offer patients what many other eyecare practices don’t provide–a natural alternative to treatments with chemicals and artificial additives.
Four ODs recently spoke to Review of Optometric Business about how they got started selling natural products from Natural Ophthalmics in their practices, and the positive feedback from patients that they continuously get about these products.
How did you get started selling natural products in your practice?
Elise Brisco, OD, president of Hollywood Vision Center in Los Angeles, Calif.: “Patients were asking me for non-pharmaceutical treatment options for themselves and their children. I had to offer more than just prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs. I was also frustrated in how artificial tears did not solve dry eye problems.”
Sheryl Simms, OD, owner of Urban Optique & Eyecare in Chandler, Ariz: “When I began prescribing Ortho-K lenses, I recommended Ortho-K Thick and Thin Drops. The product worked so well for patient comfort, I began supplying other Natural Ophthalmics products in my office.”
Michael J. Dunn, OD, owner of The Family Vision Center in Lubbock, Texas: “I started offering Natural Ophthalmics products because we were seeing so many patients who had allergic reactions to artificial tears and contact lens re-wetting drops. After researching many companies, I chose Natural Ophthalmics because the products did not contain preservatives and could all be used while wearing soft or hard contact lenses.”
Harvey Yamamoto, OD, owner of Harvey H. Yamamoto OD, Inc., in Ontario, Calif.: “I met [Natural Ophthalmics founder] Brian Banks during a meeting at the Houston College of Optometry 18 years ago. I had never believed much in homeopathic medicine until then.
I was developing cataracts in my right eye when Brian gave me a bottle of his cataract drops. I began to use his drops every day. Within a couple of months, I began to notice that my vision was improving. I began to see colors more vividly. I called Brian three months later and purchased a dozen bottles of cataract solution. Within a few weeks, the bottles were gone.
Before the year was over, we began to inquire about Brian’s other products. Today we stock the full line of Natural Ophthalmics’ products, and our patients return to purchase the products when they run out.”
How did your patients react when you started educating them about natural products, and making it possible for them to buy those products in your office?
Dr. Brisco: “My patients are thrilled! Many say, ‘My other doctors were not giving me any choices, and I prefer to use natural products first.’ Think of it this way, patients who prefer to eat organic products, meats without antibiotics and hormones, are the type of patients who would also prefer fewer drugs and preservatives in their eye medicines!
Patients are relieved when I tell them that I have the products in our office. Time is a precious commodity, so when I save my patients time, they are happy and more likely to be compliant. We also have an online store for patients to re-order their products on demand.”
Dr. Simms: “When I discuss these product options with my patients in the exam room, they are happy that it is a natural choice to treat dry eye, allergies and other conditions. Patients typically purchase the product the same day as their exam, and return throughout the year to replenish their supply.”
Dr. Dunn: “Patients love these products, and come back to my office to buy more, as Natural Ophthalmics does not sell through retail stores, but only through doctors’ offices.
My patients seem to prefer natural products, but were even more excited after they tried them out and found that they worked so well. Offering natural products from Natural Ophthalmics is part of a larger, holistic approach my practice takes. I help patients with preventative healthcare using natural products from multiple companies to enable them to maintain optimal general health.”
Dr. Yamamoto: “I was quite surprised when I discovered that many of our patients knew about homeopathic medications, and so it was a very easy sell. I was the most stubborn person when it came to using something different. We are finding more and more patients who believe in homeopathic medicine.”