Senators Cory Booker and Brian Schatz are calling for federal agencies to provide updates on studies into the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances. In a letter penned to the top officials at the FDA and the National Institutes on Health, the senators stated that the agencies were crucial to ensuring a rigorous and comprehensive science-based approach to research on psychedelics.
The senators stated that they are encouraged that the National Institutes of Health held a workshop earlier this year to look into the regulatory challenges that are hindering research into psychedelic substances, including MDMA and psilocybin. The senators, who argued that ongoing federal prohibition had stymied research on the drugs, added that they wanted these federal agencies to expand their role in identifying regulatory hurdles in the psychedelic research field and possible therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs as well as research gaps.
The letter stated that before psychedelic drugs were scheduled in 1970, the United States had carried out research on psychedelic substances, citing the various studies that were supported by pharmaceutical firms and government agencies. Schatz and Booker wrote that in the ‘60s, the illicit manufacture and distribution of LSD and the counterculture movement embracing psychedelics contributed to the increase of nonmedical use of these drugs as well as its popular cultural rise, which created a backlash resulting in adverse repercussions and stigmatization.
The establishment of the Controlled Substances Act and its requirements made it harder to secure regulatory approval for studies on psychedelics, with federal and pharmaceutical funding for research also drying up.
The senators noted that research on psychedelic drugs still faced considerable challenges, highlighting that some major pharmaceutical companies had scaled back or completely withdrawn funding in the psychedelic field due to high rates of failure for medications approved by the FDA.
The letter also mentioned the Biden Administration’s position on the promotion of studies into Schedule I substances, referencing a plan the administration released last year which asked that such studies be streamlined. The senators added that the National Institutes of Health had started showing greater interest in research on psychedelics, noting that it was crucial that federal research agencies continue evaluating the effectiveness of potential alternatives to drugs that have a high potential of abuse. This comes as the psychedelic reform movement continues to spread in localities and states in the country.
The DEA even increased quotas for the production of some psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin, in a bid to promote research into the substance. This would be a good way to appreciate the strides taken by psychedelic sector actors such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF), which are already offering ketamine treatments while also furthering research into other psychedelic compounds.
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