The veteran suicide crisis demands urgent action and innovative solutions. With an average of 20 veterans dying by suicide daily—as many as 44 according to recent estimates—and more than 125,000 reported veteran suicide deaths since 2001, we face a national tragedy. This crisis is exacerbated by the fact that 29% of Global War on Terrorism veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicide remains the second leading cause of death for veterans under 45. Despite these alarming statistics, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved new PTSD treatments in over two decades.

Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS) remains committed to advocating for FDA approval of midomafetamine-assisted therapy (MDMA-AT) for the treatment of PTSD. We have seen firsthand how psychedelic-assisted therapies can help veterans who suffer from PTSD and other service-related mental health conditions currently fueling the disproportionate incidence of suicide in the veteran community.

On May 30, 2024, VETS CEO Amber Capone and VETS Board Chair Marcus Capone submitted the letter below to the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee (PDAC) of the FDA, expressing VETS’ strong support for the approval of the new drug application for the proposed indication of treatment of PTSD with midomafetamine (MDMA) capsules. 

Read the full letter.

While we were disappointed by PDAC’s nonbinding recommendation against FDA approval of MDMA for the treatment of PTSD, it did not change our position. We believe that PDAC’s recommendation overlooks the overwhelming data from FDA-approved Phase 3 human clinical trials that demonstrate the safety and efficacy of MDMA. We also believe that their recommendation does not take into account the significant impact that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can have in the lives of veterans suffering from PTSD, who have not found relief from conventional treatments.

We urge the FDA to continue to follow the science, and to ultimately approve the use of MDMA-AT to treat PTSD. We believe that the FDA has the opportunity and the responsibility to make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans suffering from PTSD, especially our nation’s veteran community, which has been acutely impacted.

We continue to work with our legislative champions in Congress, and with other nonprofits committed to advancing veteran mental health care. VETS leadership will be in attendance in Washington, D.C. on July 9 and 10, alongside other allied veterans’ organizations, to draw attention to the ongoing veteran suicide crisis and urge the federal government to push forward on the rapid development of new therapies like MDMA-AT.