BOSTON, March 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of esketamine nasal spray being approved by the FDA, psychiatrist Keith Ablow, MD (www.keithablow.com) is calling on the FDA to coordinate with the Veteran's Administration and Department of Health and Human Services to approve and fund access to generic ketamine nasal spray and ketamine infusions for combat veterans with major depression or PTSD.
Dr. Ablow, co-founder of the Brain Mind Institute (www.brainmindinstitute.com) was among the first psychiatrists in the nation to treat patients with ketamine to relieve their severe episodes of depression. Over the past five years, he has treated hundreds of patients with the generic medication—both through intravenous infusions and nasal spray administration.
"It has been extremely gratifying to see patients who were nearly housebound come back to life and go back to work when treated with generic ketamine, first intravenously and then using ketamine nasal spray. Many of these patients were experiencing suicidal thinking, or profoundly disabling anxiety, until receiving ketamine."
Johnson and Johnson championed esketamine and will market the breakthrough medication as Spravato. The company will likely charge several hundred dollars for just two doses of esketamine spray, whereas compounding pharmacies can create a month's supply of generic ketamine nasal spray (about 12 doses) for $80 - $100 – a savings of at least 2,000 percent. Ablow wants the generic version available to any combat veteran.
"Twenty-two veterans a day take their own lives," Ablow said. "Veterans with severe depression or PTSD should have access to intravenous ketamine treatment and ketamine nasal spray, whenever it can be safely delivered. I believe it will save the lives of thousands of American heroes. And generic ketamine appears to be amazingly safe, when appropriately dosed."
Ablow added, "I applaud Johnson and Johnson for bringing Spravato to market. This bold and creative company made a massive investment in a wonderful product. But untold numbers of American veterans, struggling with major depression and PTSD, can benefit from generic ketamine—both the extremely effective intravenous version and the nasal spray version. They should be able to receive it."
Dr. Keith Ablow, a graduate of Brown University and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the author of 15 books, treats patients around the United States and around the world, both in-person and via Skype. He also offers legal and crisis counseling to individuals facing serious challenges in business, politics or with the legal system. He has been called one of the five most influential psychiatrists alive (gescienceprize.org) and one of the 35 most famous psychiatrists in history (ranker.com).
SOURCE Dr. Keith Ablow