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Feds Could Approve Ecstasy To Treat PTSD

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may soon approve the use of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), The Hill reports. Lykos Therapeutics said Friday the agency had accepted its application seeking approval for MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD and granted the application a “priority review.” The company expects the FDA, which designated MDMA-assisted therapy as a “breakthrough therapy” in 2017, will announce its decision on Aug. 11. An FDA spokesperson said the agency “cannot confirm or deny” the status of pending applications.


Advocates and lawmakers across the political spectrum are optimistic about its chances for approval and pushing for a speedy rollout of so-called “MDMA-assisted therapy,” which they say could finally reduce the more than 6,000 veterans who die by suicide each year. “Having served our Nation in combat I keenly understand the toll it takes on a Service Member’s mental health. We need an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to the suicide crisis impacting Service Members and Veterans,” wrote Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), a retired lieutenant general in the United States Marine Corps, in a statement to The Hill. While FDA approval is not certain, initial studies have shown MDMA may be effective in treating people who have PTSD when taken in a safe setting and combined with therapy.

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