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July 1999

The Sale of Products Benefits Patients and Doctors Alike

Author Affiliations

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Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(7):851. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-135-7-dlt0799

Dr Miller is concerned about an advertisement for a line of skin care products that is designed to appeal to a doctor's desire for greater income. From it, he concludes that dispensing is unethical because it involves a conflict of interest. Miller says, "The reason for selling skin care products in the office is not to benefit patients, but to enrich doctors."

My question to your readers is why are the two mutually exclusive? Why can't the sale of products benefit patients and doctors alike? Just as performing diagnostic tests, surgeries, laser resurfacing, and biopsies benefits the patient and provides revenue for the doctor, dispensing is no different from these services. All revenues received are for services rendered.

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