Newsbrief: MAPS-Sponsored Ecstasy Research Wins Final FDA Approval 9/26/03

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The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) announced Tuesday that its groundbreaking study on the therapeutic use of MDMA (ecstasy) in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has conquered the penultimate government hurdle. The Institutional Review Board reviewing the proposed research granted final approval Tuesday, after nearly two years of allowing it to languish.

The Institutional Review Board decision is required under Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. The FDA approved the study in November 2001. MAPS noted that it took eight separate applications before various IRBs before succeeding this week.

Now, the proposed study lacks only the issuance of a DEA Schedule I license for researcher Dr. Michael Mithoefer. MAPS applied for that license 15 months ago. "We hope to receive a license somewhat quickly now that IRB approval has been obtained, but you can never tell with DEA," the group noted. Once that license has been granted, the research can begin.

Researchers in the 1980s began research into MDMA's therapeutic effects on a number of disorders, but that research was squelched when MDMA was reclassified as a Schedule I substance in 1986 after partiers in Texas were observed having way too much fun with it. MAPS has been instrumental in attempting to get research into the drug's therapeutic uses going in, and has even crafted a "5-year Clinical Plan to make MDMA into a prescription medicine for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder."

For more information, visit the MDMA research pages at MAPS, http://www.maps.org/research/mdma/.

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Issue #304, 9/26/03 Editorial: Patients vs. Prosecutors | Pain Doctor Arrests Provoke Backlash -- Group Urges FDA to Stop Cooperating With Justice Department | Cheryl Miller Memorial Project Does DC | Hawaii Meth Mania: Drug Summit, Media Push Target "Ice" | Playing It Smart: Sensible Seattle and the Winning of I-75 | Newsbrief: Dr. Hurwitz Indicted, Jailed in Campaign Against Pain Doctors | Newsbrief: MAPS-Sponsored Ecstasy Research Wins Final FDA Approval | Newsbrief: Rio de Janeiro Jails Stuffed With Drug Offenders | Newsbrief: UN Warns Stimulants "Public Enemy Number One," Cites Flawed Science, Attacks "Liberalization" | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Cannabis Tolerance Showing Up in India | Newsbrief: Canadian Government to Appeal BC Marijuana Legalization Ruling | Newsbrief: Drug War Sparking Death Squad Killings Again in Philippines | Newsbrief: Ashcroft Says No Plea Bargains in Latest Bid to Send America to Prison Forever | Newsbrief: Mandatory Minimum Sentences Unfair, Says Supreme Court Justice | This Week in History | Current Action Alerts: Medical Marijuana, Plan Colombia, HEA, Ashcroft's Attack on Judicial Discretion | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | Errata: Last Week's Corrupt Cops Story | The Reformer's Calendar
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