Just over a half-dozen Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have established the MEP Action Group for the Medical Use of Psychedelics, with the assistance of PAREA and PsychedelicsEurope.
The group hopes to steer “the institutional discussions on the therapeutic application of psychedelics”, according to MEP Sara Cerdas (Portugal, S&D).
Given the fact that the European Commission is gearing up to reveal its mental health strategy, the Action Group will hope this is an opportune time to provide input to EU initiatives.
The OECD estimates that mental illness affects one in two individuals during their lifetime, while as many as 67% of people do not receive the mental health support they need. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2023 identified mental health deterioration as a severe risk to economies and societies.
Europe urgently needs more innovation in the field of brain health disorders. Against this backdrop, psychedelic therapies are emerging as a potent new class of treatment for conditions such as depression and alcohol use disorder. In conjunction with psychological support, psychedelic medicines hold the potential to provide safe, rapid-acting, and robust clinical improvements with durable effects.
“Millions of Europeans are in need of better treatments. We need to ensure that novel psychedelic treatments are being considered, as the science behind them highlights their immense potential” mentioned MEP Mikuláš Peksa from Czechia. To prepare for the rollout of these therapies, the necessary expertise and infrastructure must be developed. Marking the European Mental Health Week, MEPs are now coming together to actively shape the course of action in this area by launching the MEP Action Group for the Medical Use of Psychedelics during today’s expert roundtable meeting for EU policymakers in the European Parliament.
Commenting on the launch, MEP Sara Cerdas from Portugal stated that the MEP AG will “advance this agenda by steering the institutional discussions on the therapeutic application of psychedelics.” She added, “By bringing together MEPs across the political spectrum, we will promote the development of sound EU policies and regulations, paving the way for equitable access to affordable and safe novel psychedelic-assisted treatments in the EU.”