Senators Call For Report On State Of Psychedelic Research

Senators Call For Report On State Of Psychedelic Research
CANNANNEW REPORT

Originally Published At JD Supra Thanks to our Life Sciences Transactions + Licensing Group, including Matthew Karlyn, Mai Zymaris, and Hannah Koo, for contributing to this post. Stacy Cline Amin Zachary Fuchs Earlier this month, Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging both agencies to advance research on the therapeutic effects of psychedelic drugs.[1] This letter comes at a time when psychedelics are garnering increased attention for their potential medical and therapeutic benefits, and shedding some of the stigma that has dogged them since the 1960s. Widespread approval for psychedelic treatments remains unlikely, but the tide is slowly turning. For the regulated community, this is a trend worth watching. Defining Psychedelics Psychedelics are “powerful psychoactive substances that alter perception and mood and affect numerous cognitive processes.”[2] Psychedelics include natural substances such as psilocybin (the active compound in mushrooms) and peyote, as well as synthetic substances like LSD and MDMA. Generally speaking, psychedelics are considered to be physiologically safe and non-addictive.[3] While psychedelics are not new, medical research around psychedelics has exploded in recent years. In May 2021, a Nature Medicine study showed the benefits of MDMA in relieving post-traumatic stress disorder.[4] In April 2021, a separate study from the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated the efficacy of psilocybin in reducing symptoms of depression.[5] The Journal of the American Medical Association published similar findings in May 2021.[6] Around the same time, psychedelics have become increasingly socially acceptable for medicinal purposes. Celebrated author Michael Pollan has published two bestselling books on the topic: How to Change Your Mind and This is Your Mind on Plants. Silicon Valley and Wall Street have begun investing money into psychedelics research and development.[7] And cities around the country are beginning to decriminalize some psychedelics, with advocates for decriminalization citing the potential medical…

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