Government psychedelic trials announcement supports psychiatrists' position

17 March 2021
 
 
 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has welcomed today’s announcement of a $15 million competitive grant round for Australian clinical trials of potential breakthrough therapies for mental illness.

President of the RANZCP, Associate Professor John Allan explains that further research into this method of treatment is required to assess the efficacy, safety and effectiveness of psychedelic therapies to inform future potential use in psychiatric practice.

‘We are seeing limited but emerging evidence that psychedelic therapies may have therapeutic benefits in the treatment of a range of mental illness, such as PTSD, substance misuse and depression’, explained Associate Professor Allan.

‘Trials like these will hopefully improve our knowledge, providing the evidence-based research to comprehensively assess the efficacy, safety and effectiveness of psychedelic therapies to inform future potential use in psychiatric practice.

‘Research into medicines containing psychedelic substances should only occur under research trial conditions that include oversight by an institutional research ethics committee and careful monitoring and reporting of effectiveness and safety outcomes.

‘Such trials should be led by researchers with appropriate psychiatric and psychotherapy training, including specific training in psychedelic psychotherapy, to ensure appropriate management of risks and side effects.

‘As previously stated, as the peak body for psychiatrists, we must promote evidence-based best-practice advice on new and emerging treatments for mental health and whilst we encourage and are open to better and more effective treatments.’

The RANZCP supports the Government’s initiative and, as with all new medical treatments, are encouraged by this funding commitment to explore new treatments through proper scientific clinical trials.

For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 (0)3 9640 0646 or +61 437 315 911, or email media@ranzcp.org.