Algea Care is extending its innovative concept using cannabis therapy for chronic diseases to three locations in Germany
Algea Care has expanded its innovative therapy concept — focused on cannabis and other natural medicines — for chronic diseases to three locations. In addition to Frankfurt, doctors in Munich and Berlin are joining the telemedicine company, which has thus become the leading specialist for the treatment of chronic diseases based on cannabis in Germany. Further locations in Hamburg, Cologne, and Stuttgart are planned.
- Establishment of the first telemedicine company across Germany that focuses on pain therapy with cannabis and other natural medicines
- Expansion across Germany: Locations in Frankfurt, Berlin, and Munich, with new sites in Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart planned
- A full-service concept for patients: from scheduling to therapy support and dispatch of medicines
- Maximising treatment time and personal patient contact through digitalisation and the automation of bureaucratic processes
“While the cultivation, import and distribution of cannabis is often the focus of attention when it comes to this topic, what is actually the central and decisive aspect — the patient and the added value of cannabis-based therapy — has been criminally neglected over the last three and a half years,” explains Dr. Julian Wichmann, co-founder and managing director of Algea Care. Accordingly, it is estimated that less than two percent of doctors have ever prescribed cannabis therapy nationwide.
Wichmann continues: “There is a severe gap between demand and supply. Patients are faced with the tremendous challenge of finding a doctor to accompany and help them on their way to cannabis therapy in the first place. The reasons for this are the scarcity of expertise, as there are hardly any guidelines for this treatment in western medicine; and the immense bureaucratic effort that is associated with cannabis therapy for doctors. In the German health care system, we are still far from exploiting the potential of cannabis in medicine”.
In June 2020, Wichmann founded Algea Care with Anna Kouparanis. The company started its operations in Frankfurt in September 2020, followed by Munich and now also Berlin. In total, the team of ten doctors treats over 500 patients a month. The patients’ chronic complaints often severely restrict their everyday life and require regular, personal therapy by the doctors. At Algea Care, almost 90 percent of patients come back for follow-up appointments about every four weeks.
Algea Care uses an online questionnaire before admitting a new patient to establish whether cannabis therapy is even a possibility, thereby standardising and partially automating the bureaucratic process. All patients receive an on site initial consultation with one of the company’s doctors, whereas follow-up appointments are possible via telemedicine. The team members at Algea Care have all been specifically trained and further educated on cannabis and are thus well prepared to answer questions during the therapy. Patients pay about 120 Euros per month for treatment. Private insurance companies usually cover the costs completely.
“For us, the full-service idea also means that we answer patient enquiries within 24 hours by e-mail or telephone, and that we are there during the complete process. This means we accompany the patients’ journey from diagnosis, therapy and medical support to the prescription and also to the order of the necessary cannabis flowers or oils”, says Anna Kouparanis, who has been one of the leading female decision-makers in the pharmaceutical cannabis industry for more than two years as investor, manager and company founder. “With Algea Care, we are at our patients’ side around the clock”. Algea Care thus solves a problem faced by many patients in Germany: trained medical expertise for the right cannabinoid-based therapy.
The current legislation states that doctors may prescribe cannabis only under certain conditions. One of these is the restriction that it must be a serious disease that severely restricts everyday life. The doctor should also have excluded any other treatment alternative that meets medical standards as promising for the case. Panel doctors are further burdened with extensive applications for approval procedures and in the worst case, recourse claims are threatened.
“Ultimately, many doctors don’t want to grapple with the details of cannabis therapies in depth. The sad thing about the whole story: In many cases, cannabis as a medicinal plant is the better alternative with good medical evidence for many ailments such as chronic pain and in most cases with significantly fewer undesired side effects than many tablets,” says Wichmann.
Kouparanis adds: “We deliberately don’t see ourselves as all-rounders: In addition to being general practitioners, we are orthodox medical experts for a form of therapy that has not yet reached its full potential. In the long term, we want to use our experience and our data to contribute to greater acceptance of personalised treatment plans and evidence-based cannabinoid therapies. With cannabis as a narcotic, we as a telemedicine provider have already overcome the biggest hurdle to further expand our knowledge for further natural remedies”.
Algea Care, a company by the Algea Health GmbH, is Germany’s leading provider of cannabis-based chronic diseases and other natural therapies. With the help of technological innovation, ALgea Care offers everything from diagnosis to therapy support, as well as the prescription and order for all aspects of treatment with medical cannabis. Founded in the summer of 2020, Algea Care has a team of almost 32 people, including ten doctors specially trained and educated in medical cannabis with different specialisations such as general medicine, pain medicine and also psychiatry. The therapies range from chronic pain, sleep disorders and psychiatric diseases to concomitant symptoms of cancer patients.
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