What is my practice on a daily basis?
After writing about the sale of herbal dietary supplements/Chinese herbal patent formulas/natural dietary supplements and corruption which can be generated around them, I think it would be intellectually dishonest, at least, not describe my clinical practice.
What I do, on this issue depends very much on where I make my clinical acupuncture consultations. In the Office of Health (Portuguese acupuncture clinic), I am very limited to a certain set of patent formulas/natural dietary supplements and I have no profit from the sale of this patent formulas/natural dietary supplements. The patent formulas/natural dietary supplements to use in that acupuncture clinic were determined by the direction of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ESMTC).
At Medical Clinic Policonsult (Portuguese medicine clinic) I also do not profit anything from the sale of patent Chinese formulas/natural dietary supplements. But actually I have the freedom to choose among the different formulas existing in Portugal.
The model of the Medical Clinic Policonsult seeks to avoid the problems mentioned above: do not shop too much natural dietary supplements/health food supplements to not be under pressure to sell natural dietary supplements/health food supplements whose expiry date approaches, the acupuncture professional dominates the choice of natural dietary supplements/health food supplements/Chinese patent formulas and has no profit from them.
The office of Chinese Medicine, in the center of Lisbon already differs from Policonsult Medical Clinic, as it is the acupuncture practitioner (myself) who gets the profit from selling natural dietary supplements/health food supplements/Chinese patent formulas. Apart from this difference all the rest is similar: I only buy the natural dietary supplements/health food supplements according to the needs of patients, the choice of natural dietary supplements/health food supplements/Chinese patent formula is not constrained by profit rates and prices of those health food supplements are defined in accordance with the public sale price (PSP) as defined by the companies that sell those health food supplements/natural dietary supplements.
Obviously the choice of different company´s is always conditioned by my experience and knowledge of them. In another article I will talk about the different company´s available and those that I use more and more confidence offer.
What is the format that I would consider ideal for selling health food supplements in acupuncture clinics?
Although there are different models in different acupuncture clinics, where I give my acupuncture appointments, I would also throw into question the model that I would find more appealing. The problem is that the ideal model is dependent on the regulation of these areas, while the models under discussion were raised in an environment of total absence of laws that direct the behavior of acupuncture practitioners.
My ideal model would be similar to medical drugs on sale now. I do not close my eyes to the problems raised or the benefits it brings to some travel companies, especially for Brazil. But I feel much better to the market related to health food supplements/natural dietary supplements.
The health food supplements/natural dietary supplements/Chinese patent formulas should be sold in pharmacies, the profit generated by their sale should be independent of the profit of acupuncture/Chinese medicine professionals who prescribe them, there should be an entity that controls the quality of Chinese patent formulas in the same way they have with western medical drugs.
Obviously, the trips to Brazil continue to exist and change the model will only make acupuncturists less honest change their schemes to maximize returns. Deep down we always made sure that the really crucial factor is the acupuncture practitioner personal formation.