“I’ve been practicing medicine for about 20 years with an anesthesia and now a psychiatry background as well,” she said. Having worked with treatment-resistant patients with chronic mood and pain syndromes, she has seen how effective ketamine can be for some patients.
Why Ketamine Therapy?
Walker broke down ketamine therapy and explained how, while many other companies in the space are still in the preliminary stages, Revitalist is already generating revenue: “Ketamine is the primary medication that we utilize. It’s considered a dissociative anesthetic by the FDA, but it’s proven a lot of the exact same qualities as psychedelic medicines, so we’re able to use that in real time, to produce real revenue, [and] address real issues.”
The hope, she said, is that when other psychedelic medicines are approved for use, they can be integrated into their clinics seamlessly with experienced practitioners.
The CEO also explained how ketamine’s primary effect, dissociation, allows the patient to inspect their emotions in a different way: “[Dissociation] means that the objectiveness and the subjectiveness disconnect. So, instead of feeling an emotion, you’re going to be able to analyze the emotion from a third-party perspective and work on it.” She also noted that ketamine has been studied for use in this way since the 1990s.
Big Goals for Growth
The goal at Revitalist is a big one: to open eight new clinics in 2021, and as many as 120 clinics by 2023. Part of the reason for such rapid expansion, Walker said, is addressing the increased demand for mental health services since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. She says investors have been keen to support the company.
“We’re also helping our colleagues in the mental health and medical space because they’re getting overburdened. We’re having six-month, nine-month, year-long waitlists,” she said, “With the pandemic that we’ve been through, people want to help, they don’t know how to help. When they see something as majestic and powerful as this company, they’re able to invest in us and know that they’re contributing to a cause that’s necessary.”
Walker said the company has hired strategically to bring this rapid expansion to fruition, bringing on a chief marketing officer who has scaled businesses in the past. The company also has its own digital media company to help spread the word.
“The demand is so high right now, the only thing we have to do is supply the demand, and that’s what we’re working on with all these clinics, so to say 120 by 2023, honestly, I think is a low number for us,” she said, adding that the company has also garnered interest from the European market.
Treatment at Revitalist
TDR wanted to know what accessing treatment at a Revitalist clinic looks like.
“Anybody can call and set up a consult, so we do a consult with every person,” said Walker. “They will come to us and they’ll sit with the provider for 30 to 60 minutes, and our providers know all the base protocols to see, ‘is this person a candidate for the therapy we provide?’ The last thing we want people to think is that, just because a medication is out there, and it seems safe… that everyone should take it.”
The provider will then detail the therapy and explain the side effects, what the drug is recommended for, and how it might suit the person specifically. If they meet the protocols, they can schedule an appointment.
Walker noted that ketamine therapy has been useful for clients with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, suicidality, and chronic pain. Following treatment, clients sit with therapists to process what they experienced.
Based on Walker’s experience in medicine, she’s a strong believer that treatments like ketamine can shake up mental health.
“In medicine, especially in mental health, we’re only about 30 percent effective. If you look at placebos, placebos are kind of similar with that. So, we have a lot of room for improvement. And the need thing about the providers like myself, and anaesthesia, we’re about 99.8 percent effective—we don’t mess up.”
Watch the video above to hear the rest of the interview with Revitalist CEO Kathryn Walker.