Editor's Note

DME Pharmacies and Compression Products

The market for compression products includes a variety of patient and consumer populations that DME pharmacies can reach to drive more retail revenue.

The compression market offers lots of potential, and it’s one in which DME pharmacies can easily tap into. Patient populations that need compression include increasing numbers of diabetic patients, lymphedema patients, and elderly patients with venous diseases. You might notice that you already do a considerable amount of business with some of those patient groups.

Besides typical pharmacy clients you might already serve, non-traditional clients are also interested in compressional garments. The athletic market is a perfect example: runners, triathletes and other sporty types can benefit from lighter compression hosiery, tights and sleeves.

With a clear market opportunity and existing patient relationships in place, DME pharmacies are in a prime position to serve the market for compression services. So with all this potential, how do you get started?

Start by becoming an expert resource. That means having the right expertise. Employees should know the features and benefits of key products and to be able to share that with customers. Moreover, you should have staff who understand the various types and grades of compression products, as well as their applicability for different patient conditions.

And that goes beyond understanding product basics. You should have team members with proper training in compression fitting. Certified fitters receive training by going to different classes and seminars that are typically put on by the manufacturers of compression products. So how do you get that? Fortunately, training is available from several compression manufacturers.

In terms of products, you want to retail the right items. While compression garments provide a therapeutic benefit, patients also see these items as their clothing, so fashion plays a big role. Therapy or not, people want to have the sense that what they’re wearing makes them look good, not just feel good. Bearing that in mind, provide a wide range of product types, sizes, colors and styles. Compression garment manufacturers are well aware of customers’ desire for choices and styles and are constantly updating their range to address seasonal changes and fashion trends.

Also, if you are reaching out to diverse groups of compression users, make sure that your merchandising reflects that. For instance, if you are serving athletic users, as well as seniors, you might want to implement separate merchandising that appeals to both sets of customers.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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