The general consensus is that we distrust pharmaceutical companies because:
• They make lifesaving products that in a perfect world, would be free.
• They make healthy profits, despite stagnant innovation, and on relatively ineffective products.
• They are nameless and faceless corporations, making it easier to distrust them.
But behind the corporate facade are thousands of people who became scientists to make a difference in the lives of family, friends, and strangers. These scientists work tirelessly to develop lifesaving medications. Why then are so few breakthroughs developed in mental health by Big Pharma? Two reasons immediately come to mind.
• The natural pace of research and development is slow, requiring extensive and necessary testing.
• Funding research is expensive and most bets taken on new medicines fail.
There are only so many big bets a pharmaceutical company can take on unproven drugs before they and thousands of their employees are out of business. This is why we see older generic psychiatric medications copied, tweaked, and branded with new names. Companies know these medications work (albeit not that well), so it’s profitable to improve upon what already works in order to keep the company afloat. This does not mean the pharmaceutical companies are not innovating. They are.
During the course of business as usual, the world’s smartest scientists continue to search for game-changers. Game-changing medicines are few and far between, but if you’re reading this post, it’s likely you know that ketamine is a game-changer for treating mental illness. Unlike new medicines we know little about, however, ketamine has been around for a long time.
Why then (at the time of this post) does insurance not cover ketamine for the treatment of depression, PTSD, OCD, and other mental health conditions?
Actify Neurotherapies is the largest private ketamine provider for depression and other mental illnesses. Given our size, my experience, the experience of our doctors, the mounting research on ketamine’s effectiveness, and our collaboration with scientists around the world, it is our number 1 goal to eventually facilitate insurance coverage for this lifesaving treatment. In the meantime, we understand that like the distrust you may have in Big Pharma, you look at the cost of treatment and wonder if ketamine providers are taking advantage of people. This suspicion is natural and I’d like to be transparent about where the cost of ketamine treatment currently goes at Actify Neurotherapies:
• Leasing treatment facilities
• Doctors who oversee treatment
• Nurses who facilitate treatment
• Non-medical staff
• Required company insurances
• Legal fees
We only deliver ketamine in safe, medically-appropriate environments while following a protocol that increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. This requires a business to facilitate treatment on a large scale. But we don’t do the work because it’s our business: we have this business in order to do the work. We are passionate about treating depression and other mental illnesses with advanced science. We are also passionate about making our breakthroughs practical. As I mentioned before, eventual insurance coverage is our number 1 goal and we intend to reach it through relentless advocacy on behalf of our clients.