[Ibogaine] Reply from Alex

Dana Beal dana at phantom.com
Wed Feb 13 12:08:27 EST 2008


I gave Alex the Alper paper in New Orleans, and emailed him the Mash  
paper.

Maybe he still has not read them....

And as I said, this is not just a matter of a natural plant in use  
for thousands of years. Ibogaine was also in use as lamborine in  
France for almost  half a century, and if it had some unexpected  
effects comparable to thalidomide, they would have emerged during  
that time.

Dana/cnw

On Feb 13, 2008, at 10:23 AM, Nick Sandberg wrote:

> I got a reply back from Alex Wodak and replied, both copied below
>
>
>
> Nick
>
>
>
>
>
> //////////////////////////////////////////////////////
>
>
>
> ________________________________________
>
> From: Alex Wodak [mailto:awodak at stvincents.com.au]
>
> Sent: 12 February 2008 23:53
>
> To: Nick Sandberg
>
> Cc: gerry.stimson at ihra.net
>
> Subject: Re: Ibogaine Talk
>
>
>
> Dear Mr Sandberg,
>
>
>
> It is very unusual for people to debate an abstract of a talk  
> before the paper has been presented
>
>
>
> I was invited to do this talk and accepted the invitation
>
>
>
> My reward for that acceptance has been to be subjected to tirades
>
>
>
> My abstract states that
>
>
>
> 'Published evidence for Ibogaine as a treatment for heroin  
> dependence is unimpressive'.
>
>
>
> Please provide me with a list of publications that provides strong  
> empirical evidence for iboguaine.
>
>
>
> I have defined in the abstract exactly the kinds of publications I  
> need:
>
>
>
> ''Evidence' means several rigorous scientific trials published in  
> reputable peer-reviewed scientific journals demonstrating major  
> benefits consistently and in the absence of unacceptable side  
> effects. Evidence of effectiveness preferably (but not necessarily)  
> requires randomised controlled trials where this is possible.  
> 'Evidence' is not a strong theoretical rationale'.
>
>
>
> I note that you have already had the opportunity to provide this  
> information for me in your e-mail and have not already done so.
>
>
>
> You refer instead to unnamed studies.
>
>
>
> Please provide more details: Author, title, journal, year, volume,  
> pages.
>
>
>
> Please do so now.
>
>
>
> Please understand that neither of us has a monopoly on concern  
> about the plight of people you describe as 'addicts'
>
>
>
> In my view it is not compassionate to advocate for a treatment  
> unless we know from evidence that the treatment is effective and  
> safe (and preferably also cost effective)
>
>
>
> I am sure you know the saying 'The road to hell is paved with good  
> intentions....'
>
>
>
> While you may regard the statment that 'Since the tragic experience  
> of thalidomide some decades ago, medicine has been based firmly on  
> scientific evidence' as manipluative, I note that you did not say  
> it was wrong.
>
>
>
> Just as well.
>
>
>
> That statement is correct.
>
>
>
> How can it be manipulative.
>
>
>
> I have just used the very same sentence in an editorial for a  
> medical journal.
>
>
>
> Neither of my 3 distinguished co-authors, nor the editor nor the 2  
> reviewers took exception to this comment.
>
>
>
> I don't have any position on iboguaine  - I certainly want more and  
> better treatments for injecting drug users
>
>
>
> But I don't have any desire to see iboguaine come or go
>
>
>
> My position, as outlined in the abstract, is very simple.
>
>
>
> I assume that all interventions are ineffective, unsafe and cost- 
> ineffective until proven otherwise and that includes iboguaine.
>
>
>
> If you want me to be impressed by iboguaine, then show me the  
> evidence.
>
>
>
> It's that simple
>
>
>
> I assume after reviewing your qualifications that you do not appear  
> to have had any training in empirical research relevant to  
> evaluation of pharmaceutical treatments.
>
>
>
> None of us can cover all the areas that this field encompasses.
>
>
>
> Perhaps your qualifications and expetrience put you at a  
> disadvantage for reviewing scientific literature on empirical  
> research relevant to evaluation of pharmaceutical treatments
>
>
>
> best wishes,
>
>
>
> Alex
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nick Sandberg [mailto:nick227 at tiscali.co.uk]
> Sent: 13 February 2008 15:17
> To: 'Alex Wodak'
> Cc: 'gerry.stimson at ihra.net'
> Subject: RE: Ibogaine Talk
>
>
>
> Hi Alex,
>
>
>
> Thanks for getting back to me. It is not my intention to mindlessly  
> give you a hard time. It is not nice to be on the receiving end,  
> for sure, but I must say that if you did associate ibogaine with  
> thalidomide then it is perhaps not surprising that it happens. If  
> not then it is certainly unwarranted. The 2 papers I referred to in  
> my letter to you are as follows:
>
>
>
> - Ibogaine: Complex Pharmacokinetics, Concerns for Safety, and  
> Preliminary Efficacy Measures - Neurobiological Mechanisms of Drugs  
> of Abuse, Volume 914 of the Annals of the New York Academy of  
> Sciences, September 2000 - Ann N Y Acad Sci 2000;914:394-401)  
> DEBORAH C. MASH,a,b,h CRAIG A. KOVERA,o JOHN PABLO,o RACHEL F.  
> TYNDALE,c FRANK D. ERVIN,d IZBEN C. WILLIAMS,e EDWARD G.  
> SINGLETON,f AND MANNY MAYOR
>
>
>
> - The Ibogaine Medical Subculture - Journal of Ethnopharmacology  
> 115 (2008) 9-24 Kenneth R. Alper Howard S. Lotsof Charles D. Kaplan
>
>
>
> I fully appreciate your concern as to the lack of good empiric  
> data. It is true that much more research needs to be done. I would  
> however mention that even a basic Medline search will reveal many  
> hundreds of animal studies involving ibogaine. By no means is it  
> the primary intention of all of these studies to demonstrate  
> efficacy, but if you read at least some of them I believe it will  
> become clear that ibogaine's dependence-breaking characteristics  
> are increasingly well accepted by many scientists. Academics give  
> ibogaine to rats often to better understand the mechanistic  
> pathways involved in the neurobiology of addiction.
>
>
>
> As to the issue of manipulation. Firstly, I need to state that I am  
> basing my judgment on the abstract that was forwarded to me as  
> being written by yourself. If you did not write it then I  
> unreservedly apologise.
>
>
>
> To be honest, I would accuse the writer of this piece of  
> manipulation on two counts. Firstly, referring to the drug  
> Thalidomide in the manner that the writer did clearly is likely to  
> create a reasonable degree of association in the mind of the reader  
> with Ibogaine. I'm not a pharmacologist but my understanding is  
> that Thalidomide is not naturally-occurring and has not been used  
> by native peoples for at least some centuries. One might claim that  
> the word is simply being used to give some historical context as to  
> the need for extensive clinical trials and, whilst I would consider  
> this fair, I would still hold that the writer is creating an  
> unwarranted association in the mind of the reader.
>
>
>
> Secondarily, I find the picture of clinical trials that is  
> presented by the writer of this abstract utterly one-sided and,  
> again, completely manipulative. It is necessary to grasp that the  
> business of bringing new drugs to the market is almost wholly in  
> the hands of "for profit" entities. Ibogaine does not fit into the  
> Pharm Corporation's idea of what a suitable medication looks like  
> and so they don't put money in to develop it. I can give you more  
> information here if you wish. Yet the writer of this abstract fails  
> to even mention this. If I were a casual reader I would be left  
> with the impression that ibogaine simply isn't good enough, that  
> it's been tried and found wanting. This is absolutely not the case  
> as a decent study of the background and history of the drug will  
> clearly show.
>
>
>
> You claim you are not biased against ibogaine. That is absolutely  
> not my impression from reading that piece. I consider it absolutely  
> reprehensible to portray in such a manner a medication that clearly  
> has the potential to transform the treatment of drug and alcohol  
> dependency worldwide. I can scarcely believe that the writer of it  
> could give a damn about the plight of those who suffer with this  
> worldwide.
>
>
>
> Nick Sandberg
>
>
>
>
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