New Zealand: Ninth Subject Enrolled; Treatment Death Pauses Enrollment and Raises Safety Concerns

On August 23, 2013, the ninth subject was enrolled in our ongoing observational study of ibogaine-assisted treatment for opioid dependence in New Zealand. In this study, Principal Investigator Geoff Noller, Ph.D., is collecting follow-up data from subjects undergoing treatment at an independent ibogaine center in New Zealand. Dr. Noller was previously collecting data from two treatment centers, but one of these centers has now closed due to a recent death in treatment at a time when the patient was not under medical supervision. The death has raised significant concerns in the New Zealand ibogaine treatment community, and emphasizes the importance of establishing clear treatment protocols, which were not followed at the facility where the death took place. Treatments were halted at both facilities after the death but have resumed at the facility with a continued record of no significant health issues and where patients are continually monitored. Dr. Noller reported that he felt “very confident” in the remaining provider’s practice and anticipates that the study is likely to be completed in Spring 2015.