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Australian supplement manufacturer alters label to support optometrists

06/02/2019By Myles Hume
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Australian-owned eye health supplement manufacturer Stiltec has removed the company’s phone number from its product labeling, in a move it says will prevent patients bypassing optometrists when re-ordering the company’s supplements.

Stiltec director Steven Mann told Insight the company would no longer include re-order information on its 60-dose bottles of Macutec (macular health) and Lacritec (dry eye) supplements, making it necessary for patients to visit their practitioner for additional orders. The move came at the request of optometrists, who claimed the inclusion of the information was impacting on the potential for repeat sales, practice foot traffic and patient management.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure that the business stays within the optometry channel, and the ongoing sales goes back to the person who recommended it,” Mann said.


“We are doing everything we can to make sure that the business stays within the optometry channel, and the ongoing sales goes back to the person who recommended it.”
Steven Mann, Stiltec director

When Stiltec formed nine years ago, Mann said its products were originally targeted at ophthalmologists, who would suggest them to patients, with the re-order number listed for convenience. However, optometrists eventually began stocking and recommending the product as well.

“Progressively, particularly as our distribution has expanded, we have continued to get relatively consistent feedback from many [optometrists] that they were somewhat unhappy recommending a product which had a re-order phone number on the front, rather than people automatically coming back to their stores to re-order,” he said.

“So in recognition of that, and in support of the optometry channel, which is important to us, we have effectively launched a different-packaged version of Lacritec and Macutec … for the products that get sold through optometry.”

Mann said patients could still purchase the products online themselves, but people who sourced them from retailers rarely did so. He also said Stiltec’s products would never be sold in pharmacies and supermarkets, so practitioners would not need to compete with the traditionally cheaper stockists.

 

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