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Don't Be Afraid of Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion
A drug-induced nutrient depletion program adds immense value for your patients and to your bottom line. Here's why you shouldn't be afraid to start one.
We've said it before, and we'll shout it from the rooftops: You need a drug-induced nutrient depletion program in your pharmacy! But maybe you’re still on the fence. Why should I do this? Does it really add value? Where do I even start?
On April’s CLIMB, we met with Pharmacist/Ortho Molecular Products Brand Manager, Harry Jablonski along with Pharmacist/nutrient depletion expert, Jeff Robins to discuss the metrics of running a successful nutrient depletion program and why your pharmacy needs one. If you missed it, we highly recommend you check it out here.
We know the idea of starting a new program at a time when you’re already overwhelmed can be scary, but let’s discuss why you shouldn’t be afraid.
Why should I do this?
The root of every successful drug-induced nutrient depletion program is genuine patient care and knowledge. The reality is that most doctors (and most pharmacies) simply aren’t providing this level of care and education to their patients. This creates an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from your competition and build stronger relationships with your patients.
With better patient care at the forefront, education is key. Set aside just one hour a month with your team to discuss a few drug-induced nutrient depletions and role play some basic conversation starters. It’s that simple! Keep in mind that you don’t need to become experts in nutrient depletion overnight. Breaking it down into smaller segments over time gives you better control over the implementation process and ensures that your knowledge base is solid as you expand.
There can be some discomfort with the concept of upselling, for fear of coming across like you're just trying to squeeze more juice out of the sale. As awkward as it may feel to have those conversations at first, remember that these are medical recommendations to help your patients feel better, live healthier, and have long-term success with their medications.
Does it really add value?
Jeff Robins is the poster child for why this is an unequivocal YES. Jeff's pharmacy saw supplement sales grow to over 6 figures a month with a nutrient depletion program in place. While we can’t guarantee your success rate will be quite as radical, we can guarantee that with the right implementation plan and knowledge base, your program will start adding value immediately.
Ortho Molecular Products has had wild success with their supplement recommendation model, and their online database contains a wealth of nutrient depletion knowledge. Ortho Molecular's integration with our NutriButler point-of-sale interface displays detailed Ortho Molecular product recommendations on your till screen when you scan a prescription at checkout. As long as you carry at least 10 Ortho Molecular products in your pharmacy, there is no cost for this integration. (And, since NutriButler comes standard in all of our point-of-sale systems, the interface is also free.)
If you carry a wide variety of supplements in your pharmacy, across various brands and price tiers, TRC Healthcare’s Natural Medicines Database (NMD) is an excellent resource. TRC’s integration with NutriButler displays generic nutrient depletion information on your till screen at prescription checkout, so you can make recommendations to your patients based on their desired price-point. There is an annual subscription fee for the NMD, but this cost is easily offset by increased supplement sales. (Plus, many pharmacies already have a membership in place, making this a no-cost add-on.)
As you expand your program to include more supplement recommendations, your profit generation compounds. Those patients of yours, who are feeling happier and healthier than ever, tell their friends and family about it. You start seeing new faces in your pharmacy wanting to learn more about the potential deficiencies from their medications. Your patient base grows, and your profits amplify. As your program gains momentum and your confidence grows, the value potential becomes endless.
Where do I even start?
While it may seem daunting, starting a drug-induced nutrient depletion program is much easier than you think.
A great place to start is with the prescriptions you’re filling most often. Perhaps those are Metformin, statins, beta-blockers, antibiotics, and SSRIs. Metformin, statins, and beta-blockers deplete CoQ10, while antibiotics and SSRIs deplete group-B vitamins, specifically B12. There are other depletions associated with these medications, but we'll start here.
With a limited investment of just CoQ10 and B12, you could start making recommendations by the end of the week. If you already carry these supplements, you could even start today. By creating a display of CoQ10 and B12 at checkout, your odds of making an additional sale increase by roughly 19%. Of course, this is only half the goal, but who can argue with those odds?
NutriButler allows you to print a nutrient depletion summary on the patient’s receipt, so they can review at home if they aren’t quite ready to buy. A simple 30 second to 1 minute chat about possible depletions incorporated into your existing prescription checkout process is all that’s needed when you take the pressure of making an immediate sale out of the equation. When you promote education over sales, your patients will see the value in your program and the sales will follow.
Starting small and expanding as you and your team become more comfortable with the process is the best way to ensure you don’t overwhelm your resources and your program is set up for success. The value that this can add for your patients and to your bottom line is significant, and the investment to get started is minimal. You have an opportunity to create better relationships with your patients and provide them with a greater level of care. So, what are you waiting for?
If you’ve already started a nutrient depletion program in your pharmacy, drop a comment below with your success story!
To learn more about getting started with NutriButler, click here.