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Psilocybin: panacea or placebo?

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We write with reference to the study on psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, reported by Robin L Carhart-Harris and colleagues in The Lancet Psychiatry. Although we are relieved that attention is once again being given to basic research into depression—after the hiatus created the effective abandonment of this area of research by Big Pharma from 2010 onwards—we are nonetheless deeply concerned that the mistakes that led to this withdrawal are in danger of being repeated. Carhart-Harris and colleagues’ study included 12 patients, and although the investigators reported that eight patients achieved complete remission at 1 week, only five of these patients were still in complete remission after 3 months of follow-up.

Hendrie, C., & Pickles, A. (2016). Psilocybin: panacea or placebo?. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3(9), 805-806.
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