Israel Joins the Medical MDMA Movement

By David Jenison on March 16, 2019

Apparently, medical MDMA is having a moment.

Most people probably never imagined that “medical” and “MDMA” would eventually hook up, but in the past year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared MDMA a breakthrough therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and an Iowa Republican filed a state bill to legalize medical MDMA use. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the country's Health Ministry just approved the use of MDMA for several dozen patients.  

According to the paper, “MDMA will be administered to about 50 patients in the approved program who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in the course of psychiatric treatment… The decision to proceed with the program follows extensive investigative work by the Health Ministry, which sent a representative for training in the United States who worked on a confidential basis through the California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).” 

Haaretz suggested that the move could put the Israeli Health Ministry two years ahead of the global recognition of medical MDMA efficacy. This assumes the FDA will officially approve MDMA treatment in 2021 after the current Phase 3 trials are concluded.   

Israel prohibits MDMA, but the 50-person trial qualifies for a “compassionate use” exception for those who do not respond to more traditional therapies. Hundreds of PTSD patients have asked to be part of the trial, but only 50 will be chosen for the initial trials that are expected to start this summer.

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