Ketamine Wellness Centers, which bills itself as the largest ketamine therapy provider in the nation, has reportedly closed clinics in nine states. Field Trip Health & Wellness is also ceasing operations in multiple markets.
Ketamine Wellness Centers is operated by a subsidiary of the Canadian company Delic Holdings Corp. The closures come roughly six months after the organization announced that it had become one of the few ketamine therapy providers in the U.S. to offer Medicare coverage to patients.
It is unknown how many patients and employees are impacted by the closures, which STAT highlighted in a Thursday report.
“Delic Announces Suspension of Ketamine Wellness Centers Operations,” the company’s website currently reads.
The Vancouver-based Delic acquired Ketamine Wellness Centers for $10 million in November 2021. At the time of the deal, the previously bootstrapped business had been operating profitably, with 2020 revenue of more than $3.5 million and projected 2021 revenue of $4.5 million.
“With the addition of [Ketamine Wellness Centers], we can now reach millions of people suffering from various mental health conditions who have lost hope of finding effective, affordable treatments,” Matt Stang, co-founder and CEO of Delic, said when the transaction was announced.
As of September, Ketamine Wellness Centers had treated nearly 100,000 patients since its 2011 launch, including many military veterans, through a partnership with the Community Cares Network of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The provider boasted 13 total clinics across its nine-state footprint.
“We don’t want just the 1% to come to our clinic. We want this to be accessible to everyone,” Stang told Behavioral Health Business in January 2022. “We’re in cities that are big and that have a large group of folks who need this service, but can’t afford some outrageous pricing in a big city.”
Delic’s other subsidiaries include Ketamine Infusion Centers and Delic Labs.
The shuttering of the Ketamine Wellness Centers locations comes at a time when psychedelics – ketamine, but also LSD, MDMA and psilocybin – are increasingly in the spotlight. More companies are beginning to explore how such substances can be used to treat behavioral health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and depression, among others.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classified Ketamine as a Schedule III in 1999. In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nasal esketamine spray Spravato for select adults with depression.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government relaxed regulations around some controlled substances, which enabled licensed clinicians to prescribe ketamine remotely. DEA is now attempting to roll back some of those flexibilities.
On Wednesday, Field Trip Health & Wellness – also based in Canada – also announced it’s closing centers in the U.S. cities of Chicago, Washington, D.C., Seattle and San Diego. Field Trip said in a statement it’s closing the locations “in an effort to reduce expenditures and preserve capital.”
“The anticipated last day of operation for each of these locations will be on or around April 15, 2023,” the statement noted.