To describe physicians' and patients' reasons for participating in office-based sales of dermatologic products.
Survey data on the attitudes, opinions, and beliefs of dermatologists and their patients were analyzed.
A market research study of office-based selling.
Thirty dermatologists involved in direct selling from the office, 20 dermatologists not involved in direct selling, 22 patients who purchase products from their dermatologists' offices, and 25 office managers.
Main Outcome Measure
The hypotheses of this study were formulated after the market research study had been done. The main outcome measure was the physicians' and patients' reported reasons for patients purchasing skin care products from dermatologists rather than from retail stores.
"Trust" was the most frequent reason cited by physicians for patient purchases, while "physician knowledge" was the most frequent reason cited by the purchasing patients. The most common location to display the products was the waiting room (20 [67%] of the physicians). The most common types of products sold included glycolic acid products (15 [50%]), moisturizers (13 [43%]), sunscreens (12 [40%]), and α-hydroxy acid products other than glycolic acid (9 [30%]).
The interaction between physicians who sell products in their offices and their patients is highlighted by 2 key elements of the physician-patient relationship: trust and physician knowledge.