Society and Academy of Medical Sciences publish joint briefing on barriers to legitimate research

The Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences have developed a policy briefing to inform an upcoming debate in Parliament on access to psilocybin treatments.

The briefing focuses on Schedule 1 as a barrier to legitimate research, includes a specific call to action on psychedelics and makes three key recommendations:

  1. We would like to see a formal review of the evidence regarding the potential medicinal value of psychedelics as a class of drugs (including but not limited to psilocybin) to enable prompt decisions about rescheduling.  

  2. To create a modern regulatory system for controlled drugs for the benefit of patients and to support UK ambitions in life sciences research, we are calling for:  

  • An evidence-based approach to all drug scheduling as part of a timely, formal process to review current scientific literature to inform decision-making about moving substances out of Schedule 1. 
  • The extension of the recognition of ‘medicinal value’ to explicitly include ‘research value’, noting that it is difficult to establish medicinal value in the absence of fundamental research. 
  1. Where substances in Schedule 1 are of untested medicinal or research value, we support measures that would make it easier for researchers to establish this value.

This work builds on engagement from our organisations (and others in the research community) with ACMD and the Home Office on these issues.

For more information, please contact Sophia McCully, BPS policy manager. 

Published: 17 May 2023 in Society news