PRESS RELEASE: Dr. Bronner's Pledges $5 Million to MAPS to Make MDMA into FDA-Approved Medicine to Treat PTSD
Brad Burge, Director of Communications and Marketing, MAPS
Adam Eidinger, Director of Social Action, Dr. Bronner's
OAKLAND, CALIF. — On the eve of the Psychedelic Science 2017 conference being held in Oakland, California, from April 19-24, Dr. Bronner's, family-owned maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America, has announced it will donate $1 million per year over the next five years to the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). The gift comes after MAPS was given the go-ahead by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin Phase 3 drug trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Bronner's $5 million, five-year pledge is just a portion of a $25 million drug development budget set forth by MAPS to make MDMA an FDA-approved medicine. "There is tremendous suffering and pain that the responsible integration of MDMA for treatment-resistant PTSD will alleviate and heal," says David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner's. "To help inspire our allies to close the funding gap, my family has pledged $1 million a year for five years—$5 million total—by far our largest gift to an NGO partner to date. In part, we were inspired by the incredible example of Ashawna Hailey, former MAPS Board member, who gave MAPS $5 million when she died in 2011."
MAPS has concluded an international series of Phase 2 pilot studies into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. These studies laid the groundwork for two larger multi-site Phase 3 trials, required to show the FDA that MDMA is a safe and effective adjunct to psychotherapy for patients with PTSD. Alongside Ashawna Hailey's bequest, Dr. Bronner's gift will be reserved for Phase 3 studies, bringing MAPS significantly closer to raising the estimated $25 million needed to develop MDMA into an FDA-approved prescription treatment.
"MAPS intends to use the income generated from selling MDMA once it's an FDA-approved medicine to train therapists and set up treatment clinics around the world," explains Rick Doblin, Ph.D., founder and Executive Director of MAPS. "Investment into making MDMA a legal medicine will turn MAPS into a self-sustaining organism, exponentially increasing our ability to heal suffering in the world."
Founded in 1986, MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. Dr. Bronner's donates its profits to social and environmental causes, as part of the company's mission to put into practice the social and ecological principles that inform Dr. Bronner's philosophy printed on the company's iconic soap labels.
In unity, Doblin and Bronner agree: "Our larger goal is to see psychedelic medicine responsibly integrated into American and global culture, readily available to those who need it most, while helping the rest of us open our hearts and minds to each other and to the miraculous living world we live within."
For further information on Dr. Bronner's, please visit drbronner.com.
For further information on MAPS, please visit maps.org.