Who Will Pay For Psychedelic Assisted Therapy? Neonmind CEO Rob Tessarolo On Insurance Companies And More

Earlier this week, The Dales Report sat down with the President and CEO of Neonmind (CSE: NEON) Rob Tessarolo, who said there are some good reasons to be optimistic in the psychedelic sector.

At Neonmind, this fourth quarter is an important one because it’s a time during which the company hopes to reach several key milestones relating to research and development, as well as its recently announced speciality clinic focus, he said. According to the company’s latest news, its first specialty clinic location is set to open in early 2022.

“We’ve been very encouraged by the amount of interest out there from service providers, healthcare practitioners, and interventional psychiatrists alike with respect to partnering with Neonmind,” said Tessarolo.

“We’ve admittedly taken an intentionally methodical approach to getting into this business, and we want to make sure that when we identify a location and announce that that’s where we’re going to stand up our business, that it’s an area that can support an interventional psychiatry practice.”

The Future of Neonmind Clinics

Some of the treatment modalities offered at Neonmind clinics will include IV ketamine, intranasal ketamine, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, and while the CEO said these are currently “being deployed by various psychiatrists in various healthcare communities,” waitlists are significant.

“These treatments require recurring administration… and so we’re encouraged by the built-up demand that’s in the marketplace,” he said. “We feel like this can be a very viable, hopeful business in the sense that there’s patients that need these treatments, and these treatments have been approved and can be life-changing.”

Looking ahead, Tessarolo said he thinks it will take about three years for key players in the speciality clinic sector to emerge—Neonmind among them—with viable businesses across the country.

“We see a handful of companies operating centres that are deploying interventional psychiatric treatments,” he said, noting that he thinks it will take just as long for additional psychedelic substance to be approved by different healthcare and regulatory agencies, including Health Canada.

What About Insurance Companies?

While all these advancements in healthcare are exciting, one question remains: who’s going to pay for them? Interventional psychiatric treatments can be cost-prohibitive, and psychedelic therapy will likely be out of reach for most people if out-of-pocket payment is required.

“When it comes to covering a medication, it all comes down to the value that those medications provide,” Tessarolo said. “We think that the value equation for potential psychedelic substances is going to look something like acute administration with chronic efficacy, and that’s not something you generally get from mainstream pharmaceuticals.

“When that equation comes out positive, it’s in the best interest of payers to pay for it.”

The CEO also commented on the fast-moving pace of the industry, as well as the role Big Pharma could play in bringing psychedelics to market.

Check out the video above to watch the interview in its entirety.

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