Industry executives paint optimistic picture of the near-future state of the aesthetic specialty.
As a specialty, it's critical for industry and the private practice to work together to cope with new challenges. In our latest webinar, Forging an Industry-Practice Partnership During COVID, moderators Randolph Waldman, M.D., a facial plastic surgeon in Lexington, Ky., and Jason Pozner, M.D., a plastic surgeon in Boca Raton, Fla., spoke with key industry executivesto examine the state of the industry, the outlook of the aesthetic medicine specialty and specific initiatives to support the aesthetic practice during COVID-19. Despite current Q2 challenges all parties are currently facing, our panelists paint a brighter picture for the near future.
“Overall, the great thing is the market fundamentals remain very strong. Everyone who's had a chance to reopen, even on a partial basis, has experienced just overwhelming demand globally from the aesthetic patients, and I don't think it's a function of a bolus of people that had delayed treatment. I think it is a measure of the overall importance that these products and procedures you all provide, and we make and manufacturer and market, have taken on in the context of part of people's selfcare. Near term, the most important thing we all can do, I really believe, is to continue focus on safety, provide assurance to the patients about what you're doing in the practice, reinforce the safety and the science behind the products and the treatments because there is anxiety at a level that is quite extraordinary. And fundamentally I see this as a pause in the market. This is by no means a permanent reset. It's a pause that, hopefully, is going to be behind us in the near term.”
“Patients have been unable to visit aesthetic physician’s offices and have had very limited opportunities for aesthetic procedures, so patients have shown an increased interest in self-care treatments and products they can use at home. We’ve seen a strong interest in the use of skin care products, since patients want to feel good about taking care of their skin, by using skin products that make a difference, at home. And now that patients are able to go back into the aesthetic offices in most of the cities, and they'll be able to expand the types of aesthetic products they are being treated with, they will likely start of by getting their toxin and their filler. Everyone wants something to make themselves feel better in these challenging times.… You hear so much on TV that can be scary relating to the COVID-19 situation; sometimes it’s not really what you want to focus on every minute of the day. There are times when you need to enter into the selfcare [space] and be prepared to take care of yourself. And we're seeing that if you look at consumer purchases on a variety of online platforms, that people are buying a lot of selfcare products… so people do want something to make them feel more comfortable with everything else that's going on. Opening up offices so patients can have once again have the aesthetic treatments they are looking forward — and ensuring the offices have safe protocols — is going to be part of helping people feel that things are moving back a bit closer to normal.”
“I'm super proud of all the doctors out there and what they're doing already to restore consumer confidence. …I think we spent a lot of time looking on video at ourselves and consumers really want to get back in and get injections. So I think it's impossible to predict — even the best analysts are unable to predict the rest of the year right now based on what's going on — but I'm very optimistic that our consumers are passionate and that this is normalized, aesthetics injectables have normalized, and that they will be back in the offices. We just have to make sure we're providing them an environment where they feel confident. So, my one bit of advice to everyone listening would be to practice your protocols before you open. Some of the lessons we've heard on various calls is it takes a lot longer to figure out, when you're texting patients and locking the door and changing how you're doing things, how to run the office.”
“I think the industry has certainly been hit pretty hard. It sounds like everybody on this call has not furloughed or laid anybody off, which I think we're all pretty fortunate, but I think we're probably the smaller group. Most of our industry has, at least in the capital side, definitely been hit by this. A ton of people have been furloughed and laid off. But I think the market comes back, you know, sometime in Q4 is when I hope it gets closer to normal. You mentioned your show [Global Aesthetics Conference] is in November. It would be nice if everybody felt it was normal by then. But I think the industry comes back. Our industry is pretty strong. And I think there are some good products out there. Sciton has some great products out there with BBL and Halo leading, plus new ones getting announced soon. The big question — the big challenge — I guess is, how soon? I think if this went on for a long time, and you had Q2 every quarter, it would obviously be pretty rough. But we believe Q3 is going to see a big recovery already. Sciton is super optimistic just on the feedback we've received from our customers. But, also based on the treatment data we're seeing. In some states, we're already seeing statewide treatment volume at 80% of February, and that's a good sign. So, ultimately, I think our industry ends up doing pretty well. I think the good companies will shine and I think we get out of this.”
“The title of this webinar is forging an industry partnership between the industry and the physician during COVID-19. Rohrer started forging that relationship when we sold our first laser in September 2015. I think the physician and the aesthetic companies, face the same challenge, and that challenge is “how do we get our current potential customers to consider buying what we have to offer.” I think the answer is, both the aesthetic companies and the physicians are going to have to be able to provide affordable solutions to meet their customers’ needs. What needs to happen is aesthetic companies need to provide products that are more affordable so that the physicians can provide their services at a better price point. I think it's up to companies like us to offer affordable pricing on our units. We need to offer not only affordable pricing on the units but also affordable consumables and affordable service contracts. All the Rohrer products include a two-year warranty. Most companies out there provide a one-year warranty and then after a year, they want to charge more than $10,000 for an additional 1-year service agreement. I know how much it costs to build lasers. I've been doing it for about 20 years. If we, and ‘we,’ being the companies in the industry, can cut out the price gouging and offer more affordable alternatives, sales are going to increase.”
“I don't believe we need a vaccine to return to normal. While I can’t forecast when we'll see things return to normal, it does feel that based on discussions with many different physicians that the demand is there. Right now, the bigger issue impacting patient volume is the required social distancing and cleaning protocols that are limiting the number of people a physician can see in a given day. Over time, and even in the absence of a vaccine, I think that practices are going to figure out a way to accommodate demand and return to some level of normalcy. While there is a lingering concern about a rebound in COVID-19 cases, I think that with the social distancing and precautionary measures being taken, that aesthetic practices will figure out how to assuage patient concerns and provide a safe environment for treatments.”