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[e-drug] Ketamine as a treatment for depression and other resources

E-DRUG: Ketamine as a treatment for depression and other resources

The posting by David Healy is very interesting as it may be a possible answer 
to the question I have been asked frequently why is there is push to control 

But if there was an interest to use ketamine for this new indication you would 
expect there to be an effort to patent this anti depressive property. My 
colleague Warren Kaplan who is an expert on searching patent data bases has 

This is what he found:
All patents in the Orange Book which is the US FDA register of registered 
medicines in the US dealing with 'ketamine'  as the active ingredient in Rx 
forms have expired.

There are ZERO issued U.S. patents with CLAIMS to the chemical name for 
ketamine or for the class of molecules that ketamine is a part of 
(arylcyclohexamine) .

HOWEVER,  I found about 16 unexpired U.S. patents with the name 'ketamine' in 
the CLAIMS. 
 None of these were owned by any 'big pharma'  - most are owned by 
hospitals/research centers but they could have been licensed off to big pharma 
and we don't know.

Further, there are about 425 patent APPLICATIONS  (since 2001) with the name 
'ketamine'� in the CLAIMS. These may be incidental and not actually related to 
protecting or utilizing this product. Also one of the papers cited in David 
Healy's paper is from 2001 so there is prior knowledge which might make it 
difficult to patent this property of ketamine so I am not convinced.

From the little I have been able to find on the motivations for China's push 
for this high level of control is that China does have a ketamine abuse problem 
and their response has been to try to regulate it away despite negative public 
health consequences. China is not unique in doing this sort of thing. The US 
has been very slow to use needle exchange programs for IV drug abusers despite 
the strong evidence that providing clean needles reduce HIV incidence among the 
IV Drug abusers. In Russia despite the evidence that methadone works to reduce 
crime and anti-social behaviours these products are often not made available to 
opiate addicts.

In my reading around the subject I have seen an excellent Power Point 
presentation by Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen from the World Federation of Societies 
of Anesthetists at 

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/3ed1f486-d4c6-48cd-9b05-bdfc78239c19 . 

Willem Scholten has updated his resource materials at 

Well worth reading. 

He makes the point that if you are going to contact someone from your country 
to persuade them to vote against any attempt to classify ketamine you need to 
do it this week as many of the delegates are leaving this weekend to travel to 
Vienna.  The key countries to be lobbied are 
-  In Europe: Croatia, Poland, Spain;
- In Asia: India, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea; 
- In Africa: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 
Namibia, Nigeria, Togo, United Republic of Tanzania; 
- In North-America: Canada, United States;
-  In Latin-America: Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Colombia, Cuba, 
Guatemala, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Uruguay (the underlined 
being the most urgent);
-  In the Pacific: Australia.

One final query that I have is about the absence of outcry by the animal lovers 
in the world. Ketamine is a widely used anesthetics for animals both for small 
domestic animals but also for large animals like bears and lions in zoos who 
need to be darted to provide veterinary attention or for relocation. I wonder 
why that have been so silent.

Please keep trying to influence your national representatives. It may be 
possible for E-Druggers to make a difference!


Richard Laing
Professor International Health
Boston University School of Public Health,
801 Massachusetts Avenue Boston MA 02118
Tel 617 414 1445 (Office) 617 435 7860 (Mobile)
E mail richardl@bu.edu
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