Europe needs a collective voice of authority on the medical use of psychedelics – and experienced users should be on that panel – according to a lobby group for developers and people working in the field.
In a briefing paper sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week, Europe's Psychedelic Access Research and European Alliance (PAREA) calls for the creation of a “multidisciplinary advisory body” to guide regulators and professionals.
Europe is lagging behind
Early studies showed promising results with the compounds found in magic mushrooms and ecstasy pills for difficult-to-treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The substance psilocybin is also being tested to treat people with anorexia.
While Europe is very reluctant, Australia and parts of the United States are already allowing medical professionals psychedelics prescribe for certain mental health conditions. Yet there are European lawmakers who are pushing for change.
PAREA (Pschedelica access and research European Alliance) urges the EMA (European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction) to hold a meeting on the development of psychedelic treatments. PAREA wrote this in a letter to the drug regulator. The EU advisory body urged more centralized leadership on the practical and clinical use of such therapies. That includes how these therapies will be delivered.
Unlike most pills, psychedelics must be administered in addition to a series of pre- and after-care, as well as assistance and guidance with administration. PAREA wants to ensure that this care is standardized, with consensus from multiple groups. The intention is for the EU, including the EMA, to learn from national competent authorities, professional organisations, healthcare professionals and managers, psychedelic organisations, patient organizations, drug developers and the wider community. PAREA mentioned, among others, the professional organizations Open Foundation and the Beckley Academy.
These groups provide training for psychedelic therapists, based on the latest research from Imperial College London and the American Johns Hopkins University, among others. The Beckley group, which teaches people to "navigate unusual conditions to better serve your clients," also has its own psilocybin retreats.
“The importance of ensuring that the adopted therapeutic model is evidence-based and in the best interests of patients cannot be overstated,” the lobby group's letter said.
PAREA also wants the EMA to take action to prevent divergent delivery strategies across Europe. “Centralized coordination in the field of psychedelics would provide an efficient mechanism to advance the field, rather than individual EU countries initiating their own working groups.”
Source: politico.eu (EN)