In a time of necessary social distancing among the global population, the growing practice of telemedicine has become a valuable solution to providing virtual care, increasing accessibility, and vastly improving the patient-provider experience. By reducing the amount of in-person office visits and increasing provider reach, telemedicine has allowed for the streamlining of patient care at a distance as well as mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infection. Now, companies aim to further advance the digital dermatology model by tackling other nuances of the practice, such as the cost and accessibility of prescriptions.
Online Cash-Pay Prescription Program
One of the largest prescription and aesthetic dermatology businesses dedicated to helping patients find therapeutic solutions to psoriasis, actinic keratosis, acne, atopic dermatitis, and other skin conditions, Ortho Dermatologics recently announced a new telemedicine platform on dermatology.com. As the first and only non-reimbursed, cash-pay prescription program in dermatology within the United States, the system aims to solve the problem of accessibility many patients face when trying to receive quick and convenient care.
The company claims that online prescription programs will alleviate some of the barriers patients with skin conditions face when attempting to obtain treatment. As an alternative the on-demand model would allow patients to conveniently consult with medical professionals, order prescription medications, and receive prompt delivery.
Using the Platform
The novel platform will offer patients the ability to consult with a health care professional, order, and receive a prescription on-demand for many of the branded dermatology products available on their website. As part of the service, patients will have access to some of the brand’s most popular products, such as their Retin-A cream and Altreno lotion. However, certain products for more serious skin conditions may still require an in-office visit, including SOLODYN extended release tablets, EFUDEX cream, and ALDARA cream.
In order to access the telemedicine prescription platform, users will need to submit a photo of their skin condition along with other relevant health information, including medical history and lifestyle habits. Patients will then receive a confirmation email informing them that a health care provider is reviewing their case. Responses are typically sent within 24 hours and will provide the patient with a prescription for one of the company’s branded prescription products available on the site or recommend an in-person visit to a board-certified dermatologist if the skin condition warrants a physical consultation. In addition, the site will feature a direct link to the American Academy of Dermatology Association’s dermatologist directory to facilitate a convenient connection to providers.
Since its launch, dermatology.com has helped thousands of patients obtain branded dermatology products at accessible and transparent prices through participating pharmacies. The launch of the first and only non-reimbursed, cash-pay prescription program reveals the continuing shift toward digital care within the dermatology and aesthetic medicine space. Forthcoming technological innovations are likely to grow the practice of telemedicine even further; health care practitioners are encouraged to pay close attention to developments in the field that can provide potential ways of benefiting their physical practice.