Progressive Care, Inc.
CEO: Shital Mars
About: Progressive Care, Inc., through its subsidiaries Smart Medical Alliance, Inc. and PharmCo, LLC, is a South Florida health services organization and provider of administration and practice management, utilization management, quality assurance, EHR Implementation, billing and coding, health practice risk management, prescription pharmaceuticals, compounded medications, the sale of anti-retroviral medications, medication therapy management (MTM), and the supply of prescription medications to long term care facilities.
WSA: Good day from Wall Street. This is Juan Costello, Senior Analyst with the Wall Street Analyzer. Joining us today is Shital Mars, the CEO for Progressive Care Incorporated. The company trades on the OTCQB, ticker symbol RXMD. Thanks for joining us today, Shital.
Shital Mars: Thanks for having me.
WSA: Yeah anytime, so starting off please give us a history and overview of the company.
Shital Mars: So, Progressive Care is the parent company of a wholly-owned subsidiary PharmCo LLC. PharmCo started out in 2005, opened for business in 2007 as a retail community drugstore similar to what most people are familiar with when they go into their Walgreens or CVS. Since then it has evolved into a health services and technology company where we do a lot more than just to send prescriptions. We specialize in risk management, home health risk management, medication therapy management, and a variety of other services to not only patients, but to doctors and clinics and long-term care facilities. And then we are also developing our own platforms and technology services to change the way pharmacy services are delivered to patients and doctors and to insurance carriers.
WSA: Certainly. So please bring us up to speed there on some of your most recent news including your January prescription record.
Shital Mars: So, we’ve had year-over-year growth for many years now, since 2013. We continue to grow. Last year we did over $20 million in sales. This year we started off the year strong with a record-breaking month of over 23,000 prescriptions filled in a single month, so we are constantly growing. We’re growing and raising our revenues up over 10% and year-over-year prescriptions are up over 30%. So we are excited that more word-of-mouth, more marketing, more advertising is starting to pay off. We’re starting to see a lot of gains from the infrastructure we’ve put in place over the last couple of years, reaching out to doctors and showing them all of our specialized services, all of our risk management services, all of the work that we do to improve adherence and compliance in the programs that we have, in the models that we’ve developed, to get the best health outcomes for our patients, for our physicians, and for our community. So we’re now starting to see that.
We have a couple of other developments, which is our telepharmacy platform that we’ve had in testing phase with our Century Village location where a customer or patient can interact directly with a pharmacy technician face-to-face or pharmacist face-to-face without having to walk into the pharmacy and receive delivery of their medications. So it streamlines their process for them. And we’ve been working with Mass Ventures to improve our digital presence. They’ve been instrumental in revamping our website and developing our social media site and developing our blog and our content, so we can continue to reach more and more people, more and more patients and increase access to care that we believe is instrumental to patients being able to get well, get healthy, and stay healthy in the community.
And then I think the last bit of great news is that we accept Bitcoin. One of the few pharmacies, if not the only pharmacy that accepts Bitcoin, and mostly we believe that cryptocurrencies are here to stay for the foreseeable future and we’re seeing a new demographic that wants to use their Bitcoin. They have access to Bitcoin and they need places to use it and why not healthcare? We think that we need to have all of the options on the table and we don’t want method of payment to ever be an impediment for a person accessing care.
WSA: Right and what are some of the other key trends that you’re seeing right now in this sector and how are you continuing to position the company to capitalize?
Shital Mars: Well, the key trend is going more and more towards risk models and shared risk and we believe that that is good and bad, depending upon how it’s implemented on a government level, how it’s implemented on a regulatory level, or a rules and restrictions level. But we have always been at the forefront of planning for what’s happening in the future. And we knew that the risk model was coming. We knew that with more and more doctors, their performance is based on our performance and vice versa and so we put all these plans in place.
We developed our model three years ago knowing that the day would come when doctors would have to rely on a pharmacy to manage their [indiscernible] [0:05:27], manage their compliance, and manage their medication therapy regimens that they are prescribing. And so that’s why we’ve become a five-star pharmacy and that’s why we are getting more and more business. And so we know that the trend going towards risk is good for us because we’re prepared for it and we see more and more trying to get involved. We know that more and more pharmacies are working to get through a delivery model.
We’ve been on a delivery model since we began in 2007, so we know it very well. We know the cost involved, we know the scale involved, and so we deliver as far south as Homestead, Florida and as far as north as Jupiter with our own drivers. And so we know what’s involved with that face-to-face patient engagement from a driver perspective and we see that companies like Amazon or CVS are now just starting to get into the delivery model and just starting to get their feet wet and how that works. And so we know that we’ve set ourselves up pretty well for the future of pharmacy and we’re going to increase that. We know that more and more pharmacy services are going to be accessed online and so we’re developing a platform that will be safe and secure and easy to use, whether it would be through a mobile app or through a website or through social media or however else. We can get care to patients however they want to access it.
WSA: Great. So in terms of what else makes you unique, what do you think some of the other factors there? I know you said accepting Bitcoin is one, but what makes your approach and your model unique?
Shital Mars: I think that as far as what we have that a lot of other places don’t, our competitive advantage has always been service and the level of expertise that we have embedded in our staff. They are highly trained healthcare professionals. They know the clinical ramifications of any drug inside and out. We have our pharmacists that are specially trained in HIV, in Hep C infectious disease, and compounding in a number of different areas, and so they know better than almost anybody how to interact with a patient that may have some sensitive ailment, that they need discrete packaging or discrete communication, or even just interacting with any patient that is confused or doesn’t understand their medication regimen whether it be the elderly, the indigent, the poor, the transient, or whatever it is.
We always know to treat our patients with respect, dignity, knowledge, and care. So our model is different in that we are proactive in that patient engagement. We don’t wait for the patient to call us if they need help, to ask a questions. We call them ahead of time. We ask them if they need refills. They give us an answer, well they have too much or too little. We know that something has gone wrong in their dosing. We know that they’re not taking their medications properly and so we do an intervention practice where we send a technician or a nurse out to the home and work with the patient asking the right questions. Why are they not taking the medications correctly? Does it make them sick? Do they have trouble with access? And all these things help improve patient outcomes, improve patient health, and because we’re proactive we also limit gaps in therapy, improve adherence, and improve satisfaction with medication therapy regimens. And that all across the board we still lower healthcare costs and so that’s why we’ve been successful. And I think if we continue to develop on that model and continue that proactive engagement with patients, we’re going to lead the way on what a pharmacy should be.
WSA: And what are some of those key goals that you’re looking at over the next six-to-twelve months?
Shital Mars: So in the next six-to-twelve months, one of the things that we’ve been working on very steadily is developing another location in West Palm Beach. We’ve already expanded into West Palm Beach area. We have sales there that we’re delivering from Miami-Dade County, so we know that we need to have a physical presence in Palm Beach County and work with them on a local level. So we’re hoping to get a foothold there whether through acquisition or developing our own pharmacy location there, however that comes about. We’re going to expand up north and then get into further north. We’re going to add more state licenses, nonresident state licenses, where we can continue to send our brand into other states and deliver our compounded medications to other states.
And we also want to develop our product line. We’re working with varying CBD manufacturers and vendors, where we can incorporate CBD into our medication regimen, our medication offerings. We know that it has major health benefits and for those of your listeners that don’t understand what CBD is, it’s cannabis extract without the THC, so it has a lot of medicinal properties without any of the hallucinogenic or drug properties that would be considered detrimental to one’s health. So we are excited to be developing that and working on our own research and development, on our own sets of product lines where we can deliver those to patients and improve health outcomes even more.
WSA: Yeah, especially during the opioid health crisis going on right now.
Shital Mars: Yes and we’ve always been a pharmacy that tries to help patients with pain that they know they have, whether it’s fibromyalgia or cancer or HIV or whatever it is that can cause extreme pain. We know that there are treatments and options available to anyone that doesn’t involve narcotics and if we can help even one patient get relief and take control of their life without an opioid we’re here to do that.
WSA: Sounds good. So as far as investors and the financial community, what are some of the drivers there that you wish they better understood about Progressive Care?
Shital Mars: I think a lot of the listeners and investors who come to look at us, look at us as a small operation in South Florida and what they don’t understand is that we’re trying to revolutionize what pharmacy is. We know that a lot of people, when they think of healthcare, they think of doctors’ offices and they think of insurance companies, but they don’t often think of their pharmacy. When they interact with healthcare, they will interact with their pharmacy 12 times a year whereas they’ll only interact with their doctor maybe twice, if at all. So we want to make sure that when you think of healthcare you think of pharmacy too.
We are professionals and we can deliver care and we are responsible for a great many lives and a great deal of the care that is given to a patient. And as far as financials and the position of the company, we are OTCQB. We look small, but we are big and, vice versa, we are big, but we can be small and so we are very versatile, we are very lean. We don’t try to spend money where we don’t need it, but we are trying to expand and grow and become bigger and better and do great things for our shareholders and our investors. And I think that to any investor looking at us now, we were worth fractions of a penny a few years ago and now we’re almost at ten cents. We still think that we’re on the ground floor of what our company can truly be and I hope that anybody who is listening to this or looking our company up really goes and looks at our story and our story is one of resilience, one of innovation, and one of leadership and I think that’s something that they can feel proud of when they invest.
WSA: Sure, yeah. Good point. Perhaps you could talk about your background and experience, Shital, and also some of the key management team there behind the scenes?
Shital Mars: So my background is in financial services before I came to Progressive Care. I was brought on mostly because of my ability to execute on objectives. I tend to do things pretty quickly and try to get things done as efficiently as possible. I was the COO when I came aboard. And in 2016 I became the CEO, that’s after years of working with this company and working with the leadership. The interim CEO at the time who is now the CFO — and has always been the CFO — is Alan Jay Weisberg and he has been in public accounting for over 30 years. He has a master’s degree and is well-respected in the community and he is an expert in his field. And we have our control shareholder who has been one of the original founders of PharmCo and someone I’ve worked with for the past ten years, Armen Karapetyan, who is in charge of business development, who has been helping us get control of our growth and our acquisition process and has been leading the way in getting us leads and new business and new sales. And he just has a tremendous impact on how we’ve grown over the past 10 years in this business and even before that, in establishing the company, so those are the key individuals.
We have two independent board members. Jervis Hough, who is a Compliance Officer in financial services. He has his own firm as well where he manages compliance. He is on the audit committee with our board. And we have Oleg Firer who is the CEO of Net Element and he has a tremendous amount of experience with mergers and acquisitions, with fundraising and capital raising and all of those things and navigating the world as a growing public company. So we are excited that both of them are on board and they bring a tremendous amount of networking, networks and skill level to the job and they’ve already had an impact on how we’ve grown over the past even six months, so they are paying dividends hand-over-fist as directors of ours and we’re so happy to have them.
WSA: Good. So once again joining us today is Shital Mars the CEO of Progressive Health Incorporated, which trades as mentioned on the OTCQB as RXMD, currently trading at nine cents a share, market cap is about $30 million. And before we conclude here Shital to recap some of your key points, why do you believe investors should consider the company as a good investment opportunity today?
Shital Mars: I think I said it before and I can’t express it more strenuously than we are at the beginning. We are at the cusp of something great. From 2015, we’ve eliminated all of our aged debt. We are current. We have a great funding partner in Chicago Ventures. We are working on mergers and acquisitions. Our next goal, we’re on OTCQB and we want to become a company worthy of being on NASDAQ and that’s what we’re working towards. And we think that we are delivering value to our shareholders, we are growing, and more importantly, we’re a business that you can be proud of. We help patients, we’re a community pillar, and we think that more people should get involved and look at a company like ours and see what we can do and now is just the beginning.
WSA: Well, we certainly look forward to continue to track the company’s growth and report on your upcoming progress. And we would like to thank you for taking the time to join us today Shital and update our investor audience on Progressive. It was great having you on.
Shital Mars: Thank you for having me and thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to your listeners.