In some fantastic news, philanthropist Peter Lewis has agreed to donate $250,000 directly to Harvard Medical School-affiliated McLean Hospital to fund the costs of Dr. John Halpern’s study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with anxiety associated with advanced-stage cancer.
Dr. Halpern’s MDMA/cancer anxiety study is already fully approved by the FDA, DEA, two Institutional Review Boards (IRB’s, at Lahey Clinic and McLean Hospital) and the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health. Now that the study is fully funded, Dr. Halpern is preparing to initiate the study and hopes to enroll the first subject within the next several months.
As we reported in the last email update, MAPS has withdrawn from direct sponsorship of this study. The McLean Hospital administration felt that MAPS long-term advocacy for MDMA psychotherapy research and general opposition to Prohibition would cause the results of the study to be challenged as biased if MAPS were to sponsor the study and they did not want McLean Hospital to be involved in a study funded by MAPS. Therefore, we decided that it would be best for MAPS to offer to withdraw from further direct financial sponsorship of Dr. Halperns research so that the study, which many people labored so long to start, could proceed. Sacrifices sometimes need to be made. In this case, we decided that the benefits of the study moving forward substantially outweigh MAPS’ withdrawal from direct sponsorship. MAPS will still have access to the data generated by Dr. Halpern, as will any other organization that requests it.