Ketamine was developed in the 1960s as a surgical anesthetic for humans. In recent years, it was discovered that ketamine has rapid-acting antidepressant properties and has been shown to help people suffering from depression who have failed to improve on other antidepressant treatments (1).
Racemic ketamine is a cheap generic medication which is broadly available to licensed providers as medical supply. It is currently FDA-approved for surgical and procedural sedation and pain management, but not for mental health conditions. Despite being safe and affordable, medical insurance companies and public health programs routinely deny patients access to ketamine, citing the lack of FDA approval (6).
So far, no pharmaceutical company or institution has been motivated to pursue FDA approval for generic ketamine as it is not financially rewarding. The Bodhi Project is on a mission to improve patient care and increase safe access to ketamine treatment. Together we will set an important precedent for the use of other medicines with psychedelic properties and help the millions in need.
Additional educational resources: