MAPS is working with an Australian non-profit organization, Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM), to obtain approval for a new Australian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. On May 31, 2012, MAPS and PRISM responded to the Australian Ethics Committee’s concerns about the study protocol. The Ethics Committee rejected the protocol on February 22, citing issues relating to study design, funding, MDMA chemistry, and potential for regulatory approval.
Although MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD research is no longer considered especially controversial or risky in some countries (such as the U.S., Israel, and Switzerland) we must still work to overcome these concerns when starting research in other countries, including Jordan, Canada, and Australia. In their letters, MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and PRISM President Martin Williams, explained how the issues raised by the Ethics Committee could be adequately addressed and expressed our view that the protocol can ethically proceed as designed. The ethics committee will meet on June 27 to review our reply.