Q&A: Abacus CEO discusses recent charitable efforts
Perry Antelman, CEO of Abacus Health Products, said his company’s decision to partner with the Arthritis Foundation will help consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking with Drug Store News, Antelman outlined his vision.
Drug Store News: Tell us about Abacus Health Products.
Perry Antelman: Abacus Health Products is a consumer healthcare company that combines CBD with active pharmaceutical ingredients to provide relief for those suffering from pain and various skin conditions.
Prior to Abacus, I was the founder and CEO of a natural, dermatological, pharmaceutical company, which formulated, manufactured and marketed 100-plus OTC indications to millions of people all over the world. Upon learning of CBD in 2014, and its groundbreaking medicinal potential, I knew we could quickly leverage our experience excellence and regulatory know-how to propel Abacus in becoming a best-in-class CBD company.
Fast forward to 2020, and we have a wide breadth of product offerings across three brands: CBDMedic, CBD Clinic and Harmony Hemp. CBDMedic, endorsed by three-time NFL Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, is sold direct to the consumer across food, drug and mass. CBD Clinic is a professional strength line of pain relief topicals sold exclusively to healthcare practitioners. Harmony Hemp, which we recently acquired in February, brings to Abacus a complementary product line portfolio focusing on CBD and hemp bath products, which are also sold across food, drug and mass.
DSN: Why did your brand, CBDMedic, choose to support the Arthritis Foundation?
PA: As COVID-19 struck communities around the world, we quickly realized there was a need to shift our marketing efforts towards public service and outreach.
In early March, the Arthritis Foundation reached out to Abacus and asked if we could assist with raising crisis funds for their severely at-risk, immunocompromised and often elderly community that has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. We quickly answered this call to action, creating an innovative fundraising approach while activating celebrities across America.
CBDMedic and the Arthritis Foundation share a common community, individuals living with pain. We are happy to play a small role in helping this community during this devastating time.
DSN: CBDMedic recently held the Survive and Thrive: COVID-19 Celebrity Challenge to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Can you tell us about that event?
PA: The Survive and Thrive: COVID-19 Celebrity Challenge was a livestreamed fundraising challenge on April 22 that was designed to entertain and raise money on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation. It featured a multidisciplinary cast of celebrities, including Rob Gronkowski, Sports Illustrated cover model Camille Kostek, “American Ninja Warrior” host and M.D. Matt Iseman, Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, James Beard Award-winning chef Ming Tsai and more.
During the event, celebrity participants faced off in various physical and mental challenges that provided a peek into their lives as they adjusted to a life of social isolation and quarantine.
DSN: What was the guiding message of the livestreamed event?
PA: We created this event to spread positivity and optimism during COVID-19. To show people all over the world that this is not just a time to survive, but an opportunity to thrive.
Those that are suffering need to realize that they are not alone. The event was designed not only to entertain, but to inspire and motivate people to thrive; maybe learn that new hobby, read that new book, exercise, cook, create, and strive to be a better version of themselves. We believe the CBDMedic brand can help consumers on this journey.
DSN: What’s next for Abacus and CBDMedic?
PA: Abacus and CBDMedic will continue to trailblaze. We have exciting new initiatives in the pipeline across product innovation, marketing partnerships, international expansion and more.
We will continue to foster and educate our communities on the advancements in cannabinoid-based sciences — ranging from our retail partners to healthcare practitioners to consumers. We wish you, your colleagues, families and loved ones the ability to walk away from this pandemic stronger than ever before