Some of you may have seen the recent CNN report that the FDA is set to fast track esketamine for official approval to treat depression and suicidal ideations. Esketamine is essentially a slightly altered Ketamine molecule. By altering the molecule it becomes patentable and thus profitable. Janssen Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that this is a “breakthrough therapy” offering physicians a new method to treat suicidality and treatment resistant depression.
We at Ketamine Wellness Centers and other professional colleagues identified Ketamine infusion therapy years ago as a safe and very effective treatment for people who could not find any relief with current medications. We have treated over 700 patients in the last 4 ½ years with a > 75% success rate and zero adverse outcomes.
In the CNN article Dr. Julie Coffman who is an internal medicine physician at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital explains, “Depression causes damage to nerves and their transmission pathways”. Scientists believe that ketamine actually remodels or repairs those pathways. Thus, many of our patient’s relief can be very profound and very quick, hours or days versus weeks or months.
Janssen Pharmaceutics is working on two uses for esketamine, treatment of treatment-resistant depression (by definition someone who has tried and failed treatment with at least two anti-depressant medications), and depression with suicidal thoughts. Phase III data is to be presented in 2018 and filed with the FDA. The key here is if it is approved this current treatment which is now deemed “off-label” would be approved and possibly covered by insurance including Medicare.
In the article Dr. Hough, a psychiatrist, explains that the treatment with esketamine will still require monitoring and oversight. We at Ketamine Wellness Centers could not agree more that treatment of chronic conditions such as treatment resistant depression, PTSD, OCD should not be added to a general practice. Healthcare organizations specialize their practices to be the best at treating specific diagnoses with all the latest research and tools available. Mental health and Ketamine treatments should be no different that’s why I am proud to combine my years of anesthesia experience with my mental health colleagues under the same roof.
We already knew Ketamine is a breakthrough therapy. However, making the treatment mainstream will save so many lives. This is very exciting for families who suffer from depression and suicidality. And exciting for Ketamine Wellness Centers that another article proves that Ketamine infusion therapy works and even better it is available now. Call 855-KET-WELL to get started on your path to health.
Dr. Mark Murphy is the Medical Director for Ketamine Wellness Centers, Inc.