BTB Site Looks to Get Under Doctors' Skin

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Dermdex Inc. has launched a business-to-business marketplace to allow doctors one-stop access to skin-care manufacturers and will employ direct mail campaigns to attract physician users.


Dermdex is counting on doctors visiting the site to shop around for skin-care products instead of spending time calling individual manufacturers to get the best price. Dermdex, Boca Raton, FL, aims to bring a fractured industry together on one site, said Rob Doll, vice president of sales and marketing for Dermdex.


So far, 400 doctors have registered with Dermdex.com, which launched last week. A direct mail campaign to 10,000 dermatologists in July to encourage them to register yielded about a 3 percent response rate, Doll said.


The site aims to have 25 percent of those dermatologists registered by March, said Navroze S. Mehta, Dermdex president. It will need to recruit physicians from other fields, such as plastic surgery, to become profitable.


Another mail campaign to about 6,000 plastic surgeons is scheduled to drop before the end of November, and the site plans to follow shortly after with another mailer to dermatologists, Doll said. Dermdex is seeking sponsorships from professional associations to further promote the site.


By year's end, Dermdex plans to have four or five field representatives on staff to recruit suppliers, Doll said. The field staff is expected to reach 10 representatives by the end of next year.


Dermdex plans to continue promotions at upcoming medical trade shows in an effort to bring more doctors to the site. It also offers educational programs for medical school students preparing to graduate, and doctors can receive continuing medical-education credit by taking online courses at the site.


To have their products featured on the site, skin-care companies can pay a transaction fee and also can buy their own online storefront, a page dedicated to their products. Mehta would not release what rates the site is charging but said they varied based on the site's value to the supplier.


Only physicians will be allowed to register with the site, Doll said. Users who register must be validated before they can access the products.
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