INTERVIEW: Scott Reese, CEO at US-based C-Beyond Health, says patient-doctor dialog is critical to successful treatment with CBD.
HempToday: You describe C-Beyond Health as being in the “patient directed” cannabinoid market. What does that really mean?
Scott Reese: First off. CBD is certainly the most prevalent and recognizable of the hemp derived cannabinoids. However the future lies in exacting combinations of the right cannabinoids in the right ratios to achieve health outcomes for particular conditions. “Patient directed,” to us, means bringing forth advanced botanical and medicinal chemistry solutions using the right cannabinoids to treat particular conditions. We start with patient needs assessments as the first phase of our product development cycle.
These patient-need assessments are conducted by leading physicians in that particular condition category. For instance, in menopause, we work with a leading women’s health medical director to understand the specific symptomatology, pathology and psychographic profiles of the patient. We then transfer that knowledge and data to leading formulators to design the cannabinoid profiles and delivery methods for these products.
HT: What is it about the current landscape that fuels your vision for the company and for the cannabis-based medicine sector in general?
SR: We believe that patient care is at the beginning of a major transitional pivot. The use of cannabis-based medicine is on a dramatic rise, not because it is novel, not because it is fashionable, and not because it comes from an iconic plant. It’s because it works if taken properly.
The regulatory bodies that have controlled patient access to medication… have a burgeoning social movement to contend with.
Moreover the use of plant-based medicine is on the rise because patients are taking back control. The pivot is about who controls the medical drug market and for the first time ever, and with a loud voice, it’s the patients.
The regulatory bodies that have controlled patient access to medication, the FDA, CDC, AMA and DEA, have a burgeoning social movement to contend with, not just approvals of a molecule to treat a particular condition. Patient mistrust of these organizations is high, physician mistrust is growing.
HT: What’s your view on the whole regulatory situation regarding CBD in the USA? That’s a situation that’s still in flux, right?
SR: It is absolutely in flux and will continue to be so while the current regulatory and clinical constructs remain in place. Having been in the pharmaceutical industry for 20-plus years, one thing is apparent: Clinical data, and its inability to replicate real-world dynamics, rarely produces sustainable findings. Just look at opiates. There have been so many FDA approvals for these drugs that have been deemed safe and effective.
What has happened in the real world is very different. Again, I believe, and I’m not alone in this, that we are experiencing a true pendulum shift in thinking that will result in new policies and new treatment paradigms.
HT: Tell us about the patient and physician education platforms you are developing and how that fits into the company’s overall strategy.
SR: This is critical. Meaningful dialogue between physicians and patients about the use of cannabis-derived medication is critical not only to establishing a comfort level on both sides but also to the ultimate success of a treatment regimen.
Patients don’t know how to bring it up, in many cases they are scared to. Doctors don’t have the knowledge and these medications are not yet a part of the protocols that they are trained to follow so closely. That said, this is easier here than in other countries. For instance, we are the first registered distribution company in Thailand beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Our colleagues in Thailand, in the hospital systems, are trying right now to figure out physician education.
Unlike here, Thailand has had zero access to hemp-derived medications. They have no idea how to speak to patients. We are infusing patient and physician education and dialogue discussion guidelines across all of our disease state and branded communication platforms. We are also building a wide reaching educational platform so that patients and physicians both can access real data about real products and find the right solutions.
HT: What is happening in marketing innovation in the CBD space?
SR: The big, sweeping innovations in marketing are going to happen inside of content and distribution partnerships with mega-brands. This is where the farm-stand players will fall out of the picture.
HT: How do you describe the company’s mission? And how important is mission to C-Beyond Health in the long term?
SR: We are dedicated to advancing the science and availability of cannabinoid products. The more we learn about the science of cannabinoids, the more we learn about nanoparticle suspension and other delivery technologies; and the more we learn about patient experience through real world data analysis, the better our products will be. We don’t see this as a short-term game. We are in this for the haul. That’s what leaders do.
HT: You have an eclectic collection in your C-suite. What are the common characteristics among these executives that you feel is critical to the business? What brought you all together?
SR: Yeah. Great group. I am so privileged to work with so many people at the top of their game. I have some of the nation’s leading cultivation and extraction experts, one of the world’s most brilliant and recognized pharmaceutical brand strategists just joined us as well as a super savvy operations, legal and technology team.
In addition to my team, I consult on a near daily basis with my advisory board all of whom are Chief Execs from household name healthcare companies. We are right now building our Thailand team and I am excited to announce some of those players soon. The reason we are all doing this together is simple: We love it.
Scott Reese is CEO at Golden, Colorado, USA-based C-Beyond Health. He is an entrepreneur, inventor and pharmaceutical marketing executive who has launched and managed brands for Astrazeneca, BMS, Pfizer, Genentech and many other pharmaceutical companies. Scott has presented to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s committee on social media and health informatics. He has appeared in numerous industry publications including Pharmaceutical Executive, MM&M and PM360. Scott served on the Global Envisioning Board for an international marketing communications conglomerate and on the Marketing Innovations Board for a global pharmaceutical company.