GOP Congressman Files Bill Directing VA To Update Lawmakers About Psychedelic Medicine Access For Veterans - Read of Green
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GOP Congressman Files Bill Directing VA To Update Lawmakers About Psychedelic Medicine Access For Veterans

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A Republican congressman has introduced a bill to direct the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to notify lawmakers if the agency adds a psychedelic drug to its formulary of covered prescription medicines.

The legislation, filed by Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) last week, states that VA must report to Congress on the addition of any psychedelic medicines to its formulary within 180 days of their federal approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The report would need to include “the determination of the Secretary whether to include such drug in the formulary of the Department,” as well as “the justification of the Secretary for such determination,” the bill text says.

Currently, there are no psychedelic drugs that are federally approved to prescribe as medicine. But that could soon change, as FDA recently agreed to review a new drug application for MDMA-assisted therapy on an expedited basis.

FDA has previously designated both MDMA and psilocybin as breakthrough therapies for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and treatment-resistant depression, respectively.

Last month, VA separately issued a request for applications to conduct in-depth research on the use of psychedelics to treat PTSD and depression.


Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

In October, the agency also launched a new podcast about the future of veteran health care, and the first episode of the series focuses on the healing potential of psychedelics.

Van Orden, who filed the new VA and psychedelics bill, is also a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill to provide funding to the Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct clinical trials into the therapeutic potential of certain psychedelics for active duty military members. That reform was signed into law by President Joe Biden under an amendment attached to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Meanwhile, FDA recently joined scientists at a public meeting on next steps for conducting research to develop psychedelic medicines.

That came months after FDA issued historic draft guidance on psychedelics studies, providing scientists with a framework to carry out research that could lead to the development of novel medicines.

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Photo elements courtesy of carlosemmaskype and Apollo.

Source: Marijuana Moment

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