The FDA has approved a program to expand access to the drug MDMA (ecstasy) for patients with intractable PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder, which is common among combat veterans). This was done at the urgent request of informal organizations to develop methods of therapy based on psychedelic drugs. The program was deliberately accelerated - now the final part of trials of such therapy is underway, according to the rules, it would have to wait several more years.
The practice of granting expanded access to experimental drugs for reasons of compassion to certain patient groups is widespread in the United States. The results, as a rule, coincide with the calculated ones, plus this speeds up the introduction of new techniques and makes life easier for the patients themselves.
Approval for ecstasy therapy has been issued to only 10 clinics, but there are already applications from 120 more institutions. In the future, this will likely affect thousands of organizations across the country, and a similar process has already happened with medicinal cannabis. Since therapeutic MDMA has not yet officially received full approval, the service is not covered by medical coverage. The cost of one course of treatment is estimated at $ 15, 000, and the number of potential patients, taking into account the inevitable spread of therapy to civilians with PTSD, is measured in millions.
Ecstasy therapy requires a personal statement from the patient, which will traditionally be approved without delay, after which the use of the drug is legally justified. Next in line is psilocybin, which is also undergoing research and is already showing good results in the treatment of severe forms of depression.