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Michael Krychman, MD, sat down with Alyssa Dweck, MD, gynecologist and Bonafide medical advisor to catch up at this year's North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting.
MK: Hi, I'm Dr. Michael Krychman. I'm here at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). I'm so excited that I have Dr. Alyssa Dweck. She's a gynecologist and a CMO for Bonafide. Alyssa, I know you have some great research that's here. And I'm really excited to hear about the new things that are coming down the pike for women's health. So, tell us what you're doing.
AD: Yeah, so aside from seeing loads and loads of menopausal patients every day, we are here today representing Bonafide with two poster presentations. One is really a systemic literature review on one of our core hero products called Relizen and essentially this is looking at all known and accessible studies to really understand Relizen and the cytoplasmic extract benefit for vasomotor symptoms of menopause.1 The second poster we're presenting is really a national survey about women's attitudes and knowledge and education and go-to helpers for their menopause experience.2
MK: Any highlights from the survey? Any take-home messages that we need to know about?
AD: You know, this survey really validated the information that's already out there suggesting that we still have a bit of work to do to educate women about menopause, perimenopause, who they can go to for advice, and treatment options, should they need them.
MK: It's very crowded space menopause. We have hormones, we have non-hormones, we have supplements. And I know your company is really dedicated to clinical research. I know the products very well. You do things for vaginal dryness, you have things even for the peri-menstrual cycle, as well. I'm very familiar with Relizen and I know I have a lot of patients on it. So, it's exciting that there's new data to this and I know many participants really use that and value it, but can you give us a sneak peek about what's next for Bonafide?
AD: Sure. So you know, I think at Bonafide we really pride ourselves on the clinical studies and preclinical studies that are done on all of our products. We want to really distinguish ourselves in that way, especially in the nutritional and supplement world where it could kind of be like the Wild West. Coming down the pike, we have an amazing probiotic that's been really vetted and is unique and distinct compared to other probiotics out there. So I'm very excited for that launch.
MK: I know a lot of people will be looking at this as a line extension, you know, you have a variety of different products. One thing we didn't talk about is with Ristela, tell me a little bit about that and libido and what your thoughts are.
AD: […] Ristela is Bonafide’s product really to help with sexual satisfaction. It should not be mistaken that Ristela is going to give you sexual thoughts or really enhance your libido. What it mainly is used for is to enhance the experience. So it is a combination of amino acids and Pycnogenol, which is a really potent antioxidant and vasodilator to help with blood flow.
MK: You know, we used to see each other all the time at conferences and you know, our paths would interact and we would cross at conferences. It's kind of been this long hiatus and being in this Zoom kind of experience for conferences and this is kind of one of the first ventures into an in-person conference. Any thoughts about what are the benefits of being in-person versus virtual? Where do you see your future for conference attendance?
AD: Look, this is a great experience to be amongst colleagues. Many of us haven't seen each other for a really long time. I think it's so beneficial to discuss ideas, hear the lectures, and then be able to discuss with colleagues, so I'm very happy to be at an in-person conference, but I will be even happier when we can ditch the masks and feel a little more confident in that.
MK: I kind of take a little different approach. I think that, unfortunately, the pandemic is over. It's an endemic now and I think masks are unfortunately here to stay and we've learned a lot. It's not all negative. We've learned that we can stay home and we can do a lot of stuff by telehealth or by Zoom, and save that commuting time for exercise, or for family time, or for more work for research. But I think the in-person experience is very different and we talked about the sidebar conversations as you're walking to the next lecture or some of the nuances that you don't get from the in-person questions or that human interaction. I think travel will change, and medicine has changed already. And it's not all negative. So, we have to kind of try to be optimistic in terms of that. Any other take-home messages from Bonafide or from your clinical experience that you want to share with the readership and the viewers?
AD: Yeah, sure. You know, I love the NAMS conference, because first, you learn new things. Second, you see what's coming down the pike, which is particularly interesting for me, because I have started a podcast with a business colleague of mine, and I really love to be able to introduce to our listeners new products, new ideas, and new theories. So, that's been super helpful. But it's always helpful to validate what we are doing in clinical practice every day and know that we're still up to date and doing what the experts are recommending.
MK: I know your colleague, who you're doing this podcast with, tell us a little bit about that.
AD: It’s called the Busine$$ of the V. And you can all tell what the V stands for. And we're kind of marrying the unmet needs in gynecology, anecdotes, and concerns that I see from my patients every day in practice, and really mixing it with the business solutions that are coming up every day from entrepreneurs out there and businesses to help create solutions for those unmet needs. So, it's been really exciting.
MK: I know you're doing it, who else is doing it with you?
AD: My co-host is Rachel Braun Scherl, and she's come from the business side of things.
MK: I mean, I think that's really important. As clinicians, we sometimes lose sight of the business aspect of medicine. So it's really wonderful. And I would recommend people subscribe, and they listen to those. And you'll be able to see that link.
AD: Yeah, it's on all social media sites. It's called Busine$$ of the V. There's a site called businessofthev.com in order to subscribe.
MK: Great, well, thanks, Alyssa. I know you are super busy. And I look forward to hanging out at the poster session together. I know you have lots to do. So, we really appreciate you taking the time. I really want to thank you for all of your hard work that you do with Bonafide. They have really interesting and wonderful products that really changed women's lives. Not only in the United States but worldwide