[Ibogaine] Reply from Alex

simon loxton simonloxton at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Feb 13 12:31:53 EST 2008

"I assume that all interventions are ineffective, unsafe and cost-ineffective until proven otherwise and that includes iboguaine." 
Maybe he is confused and is not taking about ibogaine at all:) Well Nick you are the best at answering this in my opinion and would like to see the response. Quite a strong statement above. Does this mean that the word of some one who has taken ibogaine or some one without the required qualification to be recognised who has administered ibogaine is worthless? If so then you may as well argue with a brick wall for all its worth. Good luck; I look forward to the outcome of the convention.

----- Original Message ----
From: Nick Sandberg <nick227 at tiscali.co.uk>
To: The Ibogaine List <ibogaine at mindvox.com>
Sent: Wednesday, 13 February, 2008 5:23:30 PM
Subject: [Ibogaine] Reply from Alex

I got a reply back from Alex Wodak and replied, both copied below
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, 
-----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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