While the UK medical community looks to ketamine therapy as a radical new way to treat severe depression, many worry the government will be slow to act.
In 2014, spurred on by research taking place in the US, NHS consultant psychiatrist Rupert McShane headed up the first UK study (Diamond et al., 2014) on the drug as a treatment for depression.
“The results of the study were the sort of thing that makes it all worthwhile—it reminded me a bit of the film Awakenings . . . We had one patient who was very sick, had ketamine, and got sufficiently well that they were able to write a really complicated, competitive grant application. They then won that grant,” says McShane.