Dermatology Times - January 2009 - (Page 1)
www.dermatologytimes.com January 2009 Economy squeezes aesthetic bookings; proactive push helps derms stay busy EDITOR’S NOTE: Economic turmoil is impacting dermatology practices, particularly those that focus heavily on aesthetics. In this issue, we look at what dermatologists across the country are experiencing, and we talk to one Florida practitioner who says flexible scheduling has helped her to retain a steady patient load (p. 25). We offer tips for attracting and keeping your patients (p. 20). And should you offer discounts? We talk to several doctors who weigh the pros and cons (p. 19). BY JOHN JESITUS SENIOR STAFF CORRESPONDENT National report — The precarious U.S. economy has slashed patient spending on aesthetic treatments, and some dermatologists say medical bookings also have declined since the stock market plummeted in the closing months of 2008. “We’re probably down 25 percent on cosmetic treatments” since the fall, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a Manhattan dermatologist in private practice and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. Medical appointments also have slipped, as patients shun co-pays, she says. In this climate, experts agree that being proactive and flexible is the best way to avoid — or at least to minimize — the negative impact on a practice. Trading down Doctors across the country report that cosmetic patients are “trading down” — booking less invasive, and less expensive, procedures. Stephen M. Schleicher, M.D., medical director with DermDx Centers for Dermatology, Hazleton, Pa., says cosmetic appointments (which represent 10 percent of his practice) held steady through 2008. However, “We’re seeing that instead of getting facelifts, patients are gravitating to Botox (botulinum toxin A, Allergan) and especially fillers, because they’re a fraction of the price,” he says. Timothy Brown, M.D., member of a 14-dermatologist practice based in Louisville, Ky., says that while injectable procedure numbers remain robust, he has seen cancellations in bookings for cosmetic procedures costing $1,000 and up since November. Dr. Brown predicts that cancellations soon will impact all dermatologists. “If people are not paying their mortgages and credit cards, I don’t imagine they’re going to be paying their doctors, either.” Patients still booking aesthetic appointments despite the tight economy are scaling back on the extent of treatments, other doctors tell Dermatology Times. Feeling the pinch: Doctors adjust as patients scale back See page 19 Safety check BY BETH KAPES STAFF CORRESPONDENT Washington — Dermatologists and manufacturers say dermal fillers are safe and effective, despite a recent recommendation by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel that labeling be revised to include stronger warnings about possible complications. Yet doctors and pharmaceutical companies agree, in part, that label changes may be beneficial if they stress the importance of employing properly trained healthcare professionals to ensure safe injections. “The FDA did not address the root cause of the problem, which is the training and skill level of the injector,” says Kenneth PUBLICATION Anti-aging SpecialReport Competitors to Allergan’s Botox (botulinum toxin A) will soon be entering the aesthetic marketplace, providing dermatologists with an increasing range of products to add to the anti-aging armamentarium. In this month’s Special Report, we look at the changing field of facial rejuvenation therapies, including nutricosmetics, which some experts say could be the next “big boom.” We also examine triple combination treatments, which can have a significant impact in slowing the appearance of aging, according to a past president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Begins page FDA panel: Dermal filler warnings necessary for public Beer, M.D., director of the Palm Beach Esthetic Institute in West Palm Beach, Fla., and clinical instructor at the University of Miami. “The products themselves are usually not to blame,” he says. The FDA panel’s concern is that current product labels may be inadequate, because they indicate only immediate and temporary side effects, such as swelling. In its assessment — which reviewed the products as a category, rather than specific products — the panel noted 930 side effects connected to the use of wrinkle fillers, with most occurring over the past 10 years. Safety check: What do FDA panel members say? See page 22 36 AN
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dermatology Times - January 2009
Dermatology Times - January 2009
Dermatology Times - January 2009
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