Ketamine Therapy in Different Countries

According to WHO, 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The number of cases and the use of antidepressants is increasing steadily.

Find a clinical trial in different countries at CLINICALTRIALS.GOV

Legal Status of Ketamine in Countries

2016- The World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence recommended that ketamine not be placed under international control.

List for legal status of ketamine in countries can be found at

https://erowid.org/chemicals/ketamine/ketamine_law.shtml

Australia

A sedative and a painkiller, Ketamine is currently available in Australia only for use as a prescription anaesthetic under strict controls.

2018, March- Australian researchers at the Black Dog Institute completed a pilot study for a ketamine nasal spray with unsuccessful results. Significant acute cardiovascular, psychotomimetic and neurological side effects occurred at doses less than 100 mg ketamine.


2017- Australian researchers at the Black Dog Institute completed the world's first randomized control trial (RCT), assessing the efficacy and safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression in elderly patients. Professor Colleen Loo, who led the pilot program, said that ketamine worked incredibly quickly and incredibly effectively.


2016- The three-year trial will enroll 200 adult patients who have not responded to existing medications for major depression.


2015- UNSW psychiatry professor Colleen Loo said a new trial of the drug's mental health treatment potential would take place thanks to a $2 million government grant.


2015- Australia has closed its Ketamine clinics. The clinics run by Aura Medical Corporation were closed because of a lack of psychiatric support and the supply of contentious self-injecting packs, whereby patients were given ketamine and needles to administer themselves at home. University of New South Wales psychiatry school head Professor Philip Mitchell hopes that we can look beyond that unfortunate experience with Aura because this treatment may enhance what we can offer patients with depression.

Canada

2019- CAN-BIND researchers are identifying objective measures, known as “biomarkers”, which can tell us how likely someone will benefit from a particular depression treatment.


China

2018- A study done at the Zhejiang University School of Medicine shows that ketamine relieves the mental health disorder by preventing brain signals 'overfiring'. Bursting cells may be sending strong signals which may cause dampening down activity in reward areas and possibly leading to depression. By immediately blocking bursts in the lateral habenula, ketamine releases the reward areas from the strong signals which dampen down activity in reward areas.

Germany

2016- Director of ketamine studies at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, Malek Bajbouj, explains that Ketamine infusions therapy is very time-consuming and resource-intensive. He confirms that the therapy is effective and shows very good tolerability. “We hope to be able to start a Germany-wide study, using a ketamine nasal spray for the treatment of depression for the first time." Soon, the patients would not need expensive infusions, but could take ketamine intranasally.


2006- The coma-induction regimen for treating CRPS grew out of work by German researchers who had previously used ketamine to treat phantom-limb pain syndrome. Dr. Robert Schwartzman has been collaborating on the first US study of the technique at Tampa General Hospital in Florida led by Anthony F. Kirkpatrick, MD.

Read more on "Ketamine Coma" >

India

2016- Dr. Chittaranjan Andrade—professor and head of the Department of Psychopharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India— is an experienced psychiatrist and who uses intranasal ketamine to treat major depression. Dr. Andrade states that if ketamine will be approved for depression for clinical trials and patients receive ketamine only through Big Pharma products, then costs will skyrocket.

Mexico

2013- Ketamine for Treatment-resistant Depression: A Multicentric Clinical Trial in Mexican Population

2007- A Pilot Study of Ketamine Infusion during 5 days for the Non-treatable Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) led by Dr. Fernando Cantú Flores at San José Technological Hospital of Monterrey, México.

The Netherlands

2018- A study done on Ketamine inhalation showed that short-term inhalation of ketamine seems a valid alternative to i.v. ketamine administration without the need for i.v. access.

Source: "Ketamine inhalation" Leiden, The Netherlands and Vienna, Austria

The United Kingdom

2017- Ilina Singh, a psychiatry professor at Oxford University, said that ketamine has such great potential to help a small group of very ill patients that it would be wrong not to find a way of allowing them to benefit from it. “This drug is available, it’s out there, and if we can help patients get treatment responsibly, it’s our duty to do so,” she said.

In a study published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal, specialists from Oxford University said there is an urgent need for ethical and innovative action by doctors to prescribe the drug under controlled conditions.


2014- The first UK study of the use of ketamine intravenous infusions in people with treatment-resistant depression has been carried out in an NHS clinic by researchers at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford.


2014- The UK was a leading player in ketamine research before it became a class B banned drug. In 2014, the UK government decided to ban all ketamine-related drugs and put ketamine itself under harsh restrictions, in a bid to crack down on recreational use. As a Class B drug, the maximum penalty unlawful possession will increase from two to five years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for trafficking offences will continue to be 14 years in jail.

The United States

2019, June18- the Food and Drug Administration voted to approve a controversial drug Spravato for VA use. Concerns were raised that VA’s own process for objective review is being undercut by undue influences. Source: House.org


2019- Rapastinel, an intravenous depression drug under development by Allergan that acts on the same receptor as ketamine, can be given in just 30 seconds and doesn't seem to cause the hallucinogenic effects ketamine is known for. Clinical trials for that drug are expected to be done in 2019. Then Allergan will petition the FDA for approval to market the drug for major depression. They're also working on an oral version of rapastinel.


2019- A new drug, such as NV-5138 , is being developed by Navitor Pharmaceuticals Inc., which funded the study currently undergoing Phase I testing in human patients. The experimental drug does not directly stimulate neuronal activity like ketamine, but like ketamine, it spurs the growth of synapses or connections between neurons, the loss of which is associated with chronic stress and depression.


2019- Mayo Clinic researches leading by Dr. Tye are working on identifying biomarkers which they believe "can identify not only which patients will respond best to ketamine treatment but how best to treat them with augmentation and maintenance therapies".


2019, March- Being rushed through critical reviews, Esketamine was approved by the FDA. Janssen, part of Johnson & Johnson, has patented a version of ketamine called Esketamine that doctors would be able to give their patients through the nose.

Janssen can sell a very low cost drug for almost $800 per dose.

Esketamine could be an important treatment for patients assessed to be at imminent risk for suicide because of the delayed effect of most common antidepressants as concluded by a study done at Janssen Research and Development and Janssen Scientific Affairs and the Yale School of Medicine.


2018, February- Two reviews of recent evidence of ketamine for treating major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar depression and of its very rapid antidepressant effects were published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry.


2017, December- Intravenous ketamine demonstrated a greater reduction in clinically significant suicidal ideation in depressed patients within 24 hours compared with midazolam in a study done at Columbia University Medical Center.


2017, October- Inhalation of nebulized esketamine with special emphasis on pulmonary absorption and bioavailability was successfully modeled in a study as published in Anesthesiology 10 2017.


2017, August- Anesthesiologist Dr. Brian Stanton has developed and successfully tried on the volunteer patients an alternative method to deliver ketamine for treatment resistant depression using a Nebulizer with a mask (NebKet).


2017- A task force from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) concluded that ketamine wasn't ready to be widely used as a medication for treatment-resistant depression.


2016- The American Psychiatric Association's Task Force for Novel Biomarkers and Treatments plans to develop an advisory statement on the appropriate use of ketamine.