[Ibogaine] FW: Small, well-designed trial of ibogaine for opiate detox

Nick Sandberg nick227 at tiscali.co.uk
Thu Feb 21 04:10:57 EST 2008

More correspondence.




From: Alex Wodak [mailto:awodak at stvincents.com.au] 
Sent: 21 February 2008 04:38
To: Nick Sandberg
Subject: RE: Small, well-designed trial of ibogaine for opiate detox


Dear Nick,


I was invited to give this talk


I didn't ask to be invited 


Having been invited I accepted


I set out my views on the subject I was invited to speak on in the form of
an Abstract


I gave no though to debating 


You then wrote to me  - something that I have never heard of before - to
castigate me for what I said in the Abstract


I have made it clear that I am neither for nor against ibogaine 


The way medicine has worked since thalidomide, now I know you think it
manipulative of me to mention this fact, is that new medications are
considered ineffective and unsafe until proven otherwise


But this is the approach taken throughout the developed world


And the evidence that ibogaine is effective and safe just isn't there


You have conceded that


And that's all that needs to be said on the subject from my perspective


Rants from you and no matter how many others will not change my judgment


What will change my perspective is papers published in respected peer
reviewed publications reporting rigorously designed studies which provide
solid evidence of the efficacy and safety of the drug


The question you ask, why isn't more research carried out, is important


Research gets carried out when either: (i) there are strong theoretical
arguments why a treatment might work; or (ii)  there is some empirical data
suggesting that a treatment does work. 


So far, neither of these conditions have been met


best wishes, 




Dear Alex,

My position is that there is easily enough evidence, from the existing
studies, animal studies, and the vast amount of accrued personal experience
to suggest that the treatment would work. 

As to your statement that “Research gets carried out when either: (i) there
are strong theoretical arguments why a treatment might work; or (ii)  there
is some empirical data suggesting that a treatment does work.” – I would
consider this personally to be a naïve statement. It reflects a belief
system that the existing model for developing medications is adequate and
that the only factors that are considered are the usefulness and efficacy of
a proposed medication. I submit that there are many other factors involved
here and that they need to be looked at and addressed too. 


I submit that the existing model for developing new medications is grossly
biased towards shareholder profit and clearly underserves negatively
marginalized groups like those dependent on illegal drugs. I am not against
capitalism but it is clear to me that having the development of new
medications almost solely in the hands of for-profit entities does not work.
A pharmaceutical corporation has a legally protected mandate to develop only
those medications which it deems to offer the highest returns for its
shareholders. They have developed clear lines, in my opinion, as to the
types of medication that should thus be developed – namely maintenance drugs
with clear patent rights, and those that do not threaten in any way the
financial viability of existing treatment modalities. This, I submit, is
their legally enforced position. They will not develop something like
ibogaine unless public awareness is raised and a lot of pressure brought to
bear. This is what I am trying to do and I am dialoguing with you because,
to me, you are apparently putting your head in the sand on this matter. I
think you could take a much stronger and more positive position without
compromising your academic integrity.





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