Last year I reported that the company Dr. Bronner’s, formed a novel partnership with Enthea Healthcare, to provide psychedelic healthcare to employees. Other companies are now interested, and the industry of psychedelic healthcare is well underway. Where does it stand in 2023, and what should we expect for the future? Read on.
The start of psychedelic healthcare with Dr. Bronner’s
In February of 2022, Dr. Bronner’s, a family run business that specializes in natural care products, produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way; announced a partnership with Enthea Healthcare. Enthea Psychedelic Healthcare is a company that provides safe psychedelic treatments, and wants psychedelic-assisted therapy to be a part of standard healthcare.
Dr. Bronner’s became the first American company to offer psychedelic treatments as a part of healthcare, and to negotiate a way to provide them. Enthea is not offering treatments that are not legal yet, so for now, this is relegated to ketamine treatments, as ketamine exists in a loophole market which is legal through off-label prescribing. The plan is to expand this out to other drugs, once new approvals are made.
At the time of the announcement in 2022, Michael Bronner, the president of Bronner’s, said “The health and well-being of our employees is the primary driver in how we think about benefits and compensation. Offering coverage for ketamine assisted therapy is in the interest of providing tools to our workforce to have the best quality of life and best options for mental healthcare.”
He went on, “Our family and company are no strangers to depression and anxiety. We are deeply concerned about the mental health crisis society is facing, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Considering all our advocacy on this issue, this employee benefit is the next logical step.”
For Dr. Bronner’s employees, this coverage went into effect on January 1st of 2022, even before the announcement was made. It covers 100% of psychedelic treatments for employees. Enthea’s CEO Lia Mix sees it as a win-win for both Enthea, and the companies it works with, saying “We anticipate both human and financial return on these organizations’ investment in covering psychedelic healthcare.”
Where is psychedelic healthcare now?
That happened in early 2022. Now, a year and a half later, where does psychedelic healthcare stand? Enthea is still the only approved provider for this service, as traditional healthcare providers won’t do it. Think of what happens to a bank if it tries to work with a cannabis company? Same concept really. These are federally illegal drugs (except for ketamine, a dissociative hallucinogen), which are only approved (to a degree) in two states. And neither currently has an operational market.
In a recent interview with Fast Company, Enthea representatives said that at least 50 companies have sent letters of interest, for adding on some kind of psychedelic treatment policy to their existing healthcare offerings. As of right now, Dr. Bronner’s is the only client to put it into effect, and so the data from that company provides us the most incite into how useful this healthcare possibility is.
Enthea released a one year report of results concerning Dr. Bronner’s, however, I cannot find the report directly. The best I can find is mentions of it, with no link to information; the results are not on Enthea’s website either. Either information was reported before a formal report was done, or the report was not made public yet. Right now, we just have Enthea’s statement.
Assuming its out there as per reports, approximately 7% of Dr. Bronner’s employees accessed ketamine services. The report indicates that workers with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, all reported improvements in symptoms; 86%, 67%, and 65% for the respective categories.
David Bronner commented on this with the statement, “Many members of the All-One family at Dr. Bronner’s who have been struggling with mental health challenges have availed themselves of ketamine-assisted therapy, and have relayed their deep heartfelt thanks for the incredible healing impact it has made. Enthea makes the experience seamless for our staff as well as on our side, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. May all who are in need benefit from this healing medicine and therapy!”
What’s next for psychedelic medicine
For Enthea, this is a great opportunity. It’s the only company to offer this kind of service, and that makes it the sole provider at the moment. As Dr. Bronner’s results are thus far encouraging, the company has expansion plans to bring more services to clients in need. And right now, it essentially owns the market.
As far as expansion, the company is planning on doing what many individual ketamine clinics do, in offering at-home treatments with ketamine. This at-home/telemedicine venture is being planned in conjunction with the company Nue Life, and is meant to help patients reduce travel time, and wait time. For those not at Dr. Bronner’s, which covers 100% of the cost, at-home treatments are generally less expensive as well.
This allows patients to gain treatment in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, which is preferable to many over a medical setting. I did ketamine treatments and can personally attest to the weirdness of doing the whole thing in a doctor’s office. In fact, my results in the office were wildly different from what I experienced when I did it for recreational purposes, and in quite a negative way. The ability to be in a comfortable setting should never be downplayed when attempting treatments for a mental health issue.
Said CEO and Co-Founder of Nue Life, Juan Pablo Cappello, “Enthea and Nue Life are working in tandem to provide cutting-edge mental health solutions, no matter the environment. We are excited to be Enthea’s first partner for at-home treatment and to be providing cutting-edge ways to capture patient data so Enthea can achieve its mission of equity and access while being able to demonstrate outcomes.”
Apart from at-home treatments, and expanding into other compounds as they become approved, Enthea plans on continuing to build up its roster of companies looking to give psychedelic coverage to employees. With interest rising, and good results in, perhaps we can expect to see many more companies accompanying Dr. Bronner’s by next year.
Psychedelics and healthcare
Even now with the cannabis industry expanding, its still a concern in some places for doctors to give out prescriptions or cannabis medications. Protections for these things are written into laws, to ensure that patients and doctors are both covered. The reason is that cannabis is still federally illegal, like psychedelics. Healthcare services are often federally regulated, or if not, regulated by state or local law; and all states say psychedelics are illegal, except for two. At the most, others are decriminalized in some places, but this doesn’t include buying, selling, or disseminating in any way.
This is similar to the banking situation in the cannabis industry. It’s not that banks uniformly don’t want to work with cannabis companies, its that they generally can’t. At least not until regulations change. Federal laws ban this from happening, and threaten punishment on those who break with policy. As a result, if you want to make a legal weed purchase, its almost always done in cash. Colorado is one of the first states to allow online sales, by way of using a PIN number; although Mastercard already ruled this out for its debit card holders.
Not only does healthcare get complicated when looking at regulation, but there is also the issue of personal opinions. While these are changing quickly in the line of psychedelic acceptance, this is not immediate. It’s hard to change an entire population’s view, and that means many companies simply aren’t at the point where this is something they’ll offer. As more time goes on, this could change; but right now, its still an uphill battle, which Enthea is leading.
Enthea is a true warrior in the field of personal health. This company stuck its neck out to boldly go where others haven’t; and in doing so, set itself up to be a leader in the burgeoning world of psychedelic healthcare.
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