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Australia’s approval of MDMA and psilocybin for PTSD and depression is premature, say critics

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p1599 (Published 11 July 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p1599
  1. Bianca Nogrady
  1. Sydney

Australia’s approval of MDMA and psilocybin for treating post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment resistant major depression has been criticised by mental health professionals for being premature and based on inadequate evidence.

From 1 July MDMA and psilocybin can be prescribed by authorised psychiatrists in Australia, after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) reclassified the two substances from a schedule 9 listing—reserved for prohibited drugs with addiction potential that can be used only in the context of clinical trials or research—to schedule 8, which allows them to be prescribed with controls.

The TGA attached conditions to their use: namely, that only psychiatrists who are trained and authorised to prescribe MDMA and psilocybin can do so, that a human research ethics committee must approve each patient case, and that the treatments must be used in conjunction with …

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