How to Hook a Prescriber

They can be snobby, they can be arrogant, they can be downright rude, but if you need to work with a prescriber, here are some tips for snagging someone who thinks they’re a big fish.

I’m joking of course, as aesthetics prescribers are all lovely in my experience – it’s kind of illegal for them not to be. I’m a Doctor myself, and so I fall into this category. We’re tightly regulated by either the General Medical Council (GMC), the General Dental Council (GDC) or the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), or an equivalent organisation. So, if a prescriber was irritated by and wanted to be unprofessional with a patient, they would be putting their career on the line, because the patient has a right to make a formal complaint against them. Perhaps as a natural logical consequence of this, the training that prescribers undergo is packed full of teaching about avoiding conflict with patients and resolving it when it arises, and knowing when to involve someone else in the rare case that it does arise and can’t be resolved. But prescribers for anti-wrinkle and dermal filler treatments are also well-trained and in relatively short supply in the Aesthetics world in the UK (England in particular), so can be hard to get hold of. When non-prescribing aesthetic practitioners that I’ve trained, ask me for advice on how to ‘get’ a prescriber, I usually give people the following pointers:

Post your request in some forums. We have our own forum, which is a private and curated Facebook group, which you can request access to here to find a prescriber for aesthetics:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/110099472354923

Here’s the biggest one I’ve found to help find a prescriber:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/969796016541030

This one may be of help for practitioners in Northern Ireland:

https://www.facebook.com/Aesthetic-Prescribers-NI-1364721003681969

What Should You Say When You Post?

Firstly, remember that you are trying to attract an aesthetics prescriber and that they are in short supply. For best results, I recommend demonstrating your professionalism, showing how effective you are as a communicator, and impressing them by how organised you are as a practitioner. When making an announcement, you may find it useful to run through this checklist – think “who, what, where, why, when.” Here are some examples of what you might say.

  • WHO? I am a <insert your job title> and I have recently completed / I am about to complete my certification in the use of Botulinum Toxin with <insert the name of a reputable training academy such as Visage Academy>
  • WHERE? My clinic is based in <name of town / name of area of the city you live in>. 
  • WHAT & WHY? I am looking for a prescriber to see my clients face-to-face so that they can prescribe toxin for them
  • WHEN? ….monthly / fortnightly / weekly clinic.
  • – be clear and concise
  • – be professional. Check your spelling and grammar
  • – tell people what you have if you have something up and running already. E.g. “I have a salon with 3000 clients and I anticipate a clinic every month with 5-10 clients”. 
  • – provide the postcode or address of your location

Who can prescribe for aesthetics?

In the UK, it’s Doctors, Dentists, Nurse prescribers, and now, an increasing number of other para-medical professions- as long as they have the word ‘prescriber’ in their title. So for example, some pharmacists and physiotherapists can prescribe toxin. Some insurers will require the prescriber to have X months experience using toxin themselves before they can prescribe for others, some won’t mind about this – but check before you start!

What about insurance?

Speak to your insurer and run it past them once you have a prescriber provisionally lined up. It may be easy and free to add them to your policy if you change it from a personal to a corporate policy. The aesthetics prescriber themselves may also want to have their own insurance, and can often add “prescribing or others” onto their own policy by again, discussing with their insurer.

What does the prescriber for aesthetics actually need to do during the consultation with my patients?

We’ll cover this in more depth in a later post, but here is a brief summary.

They will check that a medical history form has been completed. I suggest you use a digital aesthetic records system where you can both have your own separate logins to access and record information in the patient record. For example, I use Flourish, which is an app that I created with a developer and that we now license to other clinics that they might also benefit from. On there, patients can be sent a medical history form in advance and this can form the basis of the initial discussion with the prescriber. When I have these consultations with patients from another clinic I’ll explain:

“We’re going to have a look through your medical history and I’ll ask you some questions about any anti-wrinkle or filler treatments you have had in the past or are thinking of having.” In the end, I make a note of our consultation, adding some guidance to the practitioner, bearing in mind:

  1. That they might not need any advice from me BUT
  2. That I’d like there to be a note there, demonstrating that an actual consultation did take place in case this was ever questioned in future. 

This previous blog post I wrote may also be of use to you and/or your aesthetics prescriber, or just of general interest to you:

So my note will often be brief- for example:

7-7-21 12:50. Dr. Michael Aicken consultation.

No issues with medical history. Wants 3 areas antiwrinkle injections. Previously had some spocking of the eyebrows, and has no visible eyelid ptosis, so please consider giving lateral forehead injections to avoid spocking in future.

How does your relationship with your aesthetics prescriber work?

As aesthetics prescribers, they are taking ultimate responsibility for your patients. Although you are hiring them to do a job and are therefore in some way, their “boss” as you will be either their employer or are contracting them to do work for you, in the eyes of medical law, they are actually delegating the task of injecting the toxin to you. So in a way, they’re your boss. So you are each other’s bosses! Congratulations to you both. What this means is that you need to act as partners- each with their own responsibilities. Be professional with them and expect the same in return. This world is still unregulated, so basic unwritten laws of decency apply. If you want them to keep working with you, don’t forget about the clinic you organised. Tell them if you don’t have any bookings lined up and want to postpone. Have a plan in place for when you will cancel a clinic if there are not enough bookings. Have a plan for how many bookings you both would require in order that the clinic might go ahead – often this will be based upon how far away they are from your clinic and what other work they have lined up at the time. Have a written agreement between you, which lays out each other’s responsibilities. Think of this, not as a legal document, but an agreed plan of action, to be referred back to and edited together as your business relationship develops.

What If I Can’t Get a Prescriber?

In the meantime, if you can’t land a prescriber, consider expanding your skills into areas where a prescriber is not needed. So for example, if you are trained you trained to use anti-wrinkle and dermal filler injections, but can’t get a prescriber, you can still administer dermal filler. As long as you are trained and insured, and work within your own competency, this is a good strategy for your business. Also consider, once you have some experience (at least 6 months) with the basic treatments, learning tear troughs, chin/jawline filler, and potentially non-surgical rhinoplasty. Also, consider Profhilo and Aqualyx / Deso which you can also buy without a prescription. We offer training in each of these: