Ibogaine Approved as Prescription Medicine in New Zealand

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Medsafe New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority of the Ministry of Health. Minutes of the 42nd meeting of the Medicines Classification Committee. Wellington, NZ: New Zealand Government; 2009 [Accessed 2010 July 10]; Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibogaine#New_Zealand


“The Committee was provided with a table of data which attempted to state what is known regarding ibogaine related fatalities in the public domain. The figures suggest that the number of deaths due to methadone, the most controlled substance, were a little higher that those associated with ibogaine, which is unregulated.

The most frequently reported use for ibogaine is for the reduction or elimination of addiction to opiates. Ibogaine is reported to alleviate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. It has also been suggested that ibogaine may be useful in treating dependence to other substances such as alcohol, methamphetamine and nicotine.

Given its use for the therapeutic purpose of managing/treating addiction and the need for this treatment to be under supervision, Medsafe believed that there was a case for classifying ibogaine and its metabolite noribogaine as prescription medicines. This would not necessarily restrict the medical use in a therapeutic environment but would limit attempts at self treatment and prevent its development for recreational use as a “party pill”, even though the documented experience of using it is usually not that pleasant.

Medsafe had also sought opinion from a psychiatrist who is proposing to conduct a clinical study utilising ibogaine. He was of the opinion that although its appeal as a recreational drug is low, he shared concerns that use in an ad hoc fashion as a self medication for drug addiction could occur following the media interest in the product and that this could be dangerous. The psychiatrist was supportive of classification of ibogaine as a prescription medicine.

Due to the potential for therapeutic use of the product, the safety profile and the potential for misuse, Medsafe suggested that the substance ibogaine and its metabolite noribogaine met the criteria for classification under the Medicines Act 1981. This would provide ability to control the import and supply of ibogaine, its metabolite or any products containing each or both of the substances.”