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Why don’t ODs prescribe more nutraceuticals?

Kimberly Friedman, OD, vice president of sales at PRN, discusses the barriers ODs face to helping their patients and adding a potential revenue stream to their practices.
Join this episode of the Power Hour to find out more about optometry's role in nutraceuticals, and bring your questions!

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Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2 responses to “Why don’t ODs prescribe more nutraceuticals?”

  1. I am interested in getting more comfortable prescribing nutraceuticals without feeling like I am “pushing product”. I usually say that DE3 and Nordic Naturals Ultima Omega are comparable and let the patient decide which they want to start. If a patient purchases a PRN product, I don’t want them to feel they are being harassed by a company to get on autoshipment, so I tell them if they are interested, let me know and I will pass on their information to PRN. So, most of the time I do not give the patient information to PRN on their initial purchase.

  2. kim friedman says:

    Hi Susan,

    I completely understand your concern regarding maintaining your integrity as a Doctor versus being perceived as too “salesy”. I always remind myself that recommending a nutraceutical is just as important, if not more important, than recommending a topical prescription drop at times. As a profession we don’t worry about the pharmacist calling our patients to fill a prescription, yet we worry about it in the nutraceutical realm.
    The PRN customer relations department is like an extension of your office. Patients can sometimes monopolize our time with lots of questions about nutrition. I just say-
    • this is what I am prescribing.
    • this is why it’s different than others.
    • I take it personally.
    • and an expert will be calling you to answer all your questions and set you up on home delivery like a mail order pharmacy
    It allows me to message it in under a minute and move on. If a patient starts getting in the weeds with questions I just say, “these are great questions so I want you to write them down and when you get the call from PRN they will be able to answer all these questions even better than I can”. Every single call is recorded and I’ve heard them- it is not a high-pressure sales situation. We know with home delivery we have a 96% compliance rate—and without it- about 10%.

    Finally, I find that if I give options the patient thinks all supplements are created equal so they will buy the cheapest thing in the big box store and then wonder why it doesn’t work or why they have GI disturbances. There is a big difference between PRN De3 and Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. NN Ultimate capsules has only 650 EPA 450 DHA as compared to PRN De3 1680 EPA 560 DHA. Based on blind, placebo controlled randomized studies patients would need to consume over 2x the NN recommended dose to equal PRN, hence there is no cost advantage to the patient. Only PRN has the 90 day money-back guarantee along with 2 patents covering the quality and efficacy of the Omega 3 supplement and clinical studies published in both Cornea in 2016 and The British Journal of Ophthalmology in 2020.

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