A new study has found that MDMA-assisted therapy may extend and improve the lives of patients suffering from severe and chronic PTSD and also decrease the cost of healthcare. MDMA is a drug known to alter an individual’s mood and perception; it is commonly referred to as molly or ecstasy.
Elliot Marseille, the study’s corresponding author, stated that he launched the Global Initiative for Psychedelic Science Economics together with his colleagues from UC Berkeley and UCSF after seeing encouraging results on psychedelic-assisted therapy from different clinical trials. Marseille, who is also the founder of Health Strategies International, explained that the aim of the study was to offer accurate and policy-relevant economic analyses on psychedelic therapies, noting that the researchers focused on MDMA therapy because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may soon approve its use as a legal treatment.
For their research, the investigators used data from a phase III MDMA-assisted psychedelic therapy clinical trial for post-traumatic stress disorder to create a Markov model. They then used that model to calculate mortality, the cost-effectiveness ratio of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy over a period of three decades and expected medical costs over the same period.
The trial had 90 participants who each received the treatment over the course of 18 weeks. Every patient underwent a number of 90-minute preparatory psychotherapy sessions as well as a couple of eight-hour active placebo or MDMA sessions and 90-minute integrative therapy sessions.
The researchers involved in the trial found that patients with severe post-traumatic stress disorder tolerated MDMA well, noting a significant decrease in symptoms among those who received MDMA, in comparison with the patients who received a placebo. The cost of this psychedelic treatment for every patient was $11,536.
Based on a cohort of 1,000 theoretical patients, the researchers estimate that using this alternative therapy would prevent 61.5 premature deaths and save more than $132 million over a three-decade period.
In an interview, Marseille added that the most important discovery from their research was that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for chronic and severe post-traumatic stress disorder would provide numerous clinical benefits and save healthcare costs. He stated that finding should encourage healthcare payers to incorporate psychedelic therapy as an option for its members with severe PTSD who didn’t benefit from conventional treatments. Marseille also noted that the costs linked to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder may have changed by the time the treatment was approved for legal use by the U.S. FDA.
Other researchers involved in the study include James G. Kahn and Jennifer M. Mitchell. The study was published in the “PLOS One” journal.
It is fathomable that psychedelic-based mental health treatments, such as those provided by companies including Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF), can save the country millions since these treatments are effective in tackling the mental condition from its root, thereby minimizing the need for ongoing care.
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