Psychedelic research in the treatment of psychiatric disorders was shut down by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1966, and Sandoz ended its distribution of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin to psychiatric investigators that same year. Congressional hearings addressing indiscriminate recreational use of psychedelics emphasized use that led to increased psychiatric hospital admissions for psychosis and reported suicides. The FDA commissioner, James L. Goddard, MD, concluded that even though “there have been more than 2,000 papers in the scientific literature, there is as yet no substantial evidence based on adequate and well controlled investigations to support these drugs for medical purposes.”1(p78) Earlier, he had reported to a Congressional committee that, despite 10 years of research on their use in treating alcoholism, the results remained preliminary because of difficulty finding a drug placebo usable for a control arm that would allow double-blind testing, and that this had confounded much of the research up to that point. The early research was conducted with psychedelic drugs provided by Sandoz under an investigational new drug classification. Sandoz did not apply for a new drug approval before its patent expired in 1963.
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Harris JC. Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy and Carl Jung’s Red Book. JAMA Psychiatry. 2021;78(8):815–816. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.1207
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