[Ibogaine] Reply from Alex

Dana Beal dana at phantom.com
Thu Feb 14 15:46:31 EST 2008


Please cc all such comments to

awodak at stvincents.com.au

gerry.stimson at ihra.net

stijn at inpud.org


Dana/cnw

On Feb 14, 2008, at 12:54 PM, marko wrote:

> Unfortunately, we are talking different languages here. We are  
> discussing
>
> Ibogaine
>
> 12-methoxyibogamine
>
> (6R, 6aS, 7S, 9R)-7-ethyl-2-methoxy-6, 6a, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13- 
> octahydro-5H-6, 9-methanopyrido[1',2':1,2]azepino[4,5-b]indole
>
> and that <insert your feelings about A.W. here> talks about
>
> iboguaine
>
> And I must say that I share his feelings about iboguaine!
> I have no idea what this iboguaine is, or what it does, but I  
> surely trust that someone with such a Hu6E reputation cannot be  
> wrong on subject of iboguaine!!!
>
> I see the problem elsewhere, and it deserves a new E-mail...
>
> Marko
>
>
>
> 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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