Science

Scientists who want to study [psilocybin] have to pay $7,000 per gram

Matthew Johnson, a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at John Hopkins University who’s conducted extensive research on psilocybin, says he and his colleagues pay between $7,000 and $10,000 per gram. The typical street price for magic mushrooms is $35 per eighth of an ounce, so $10 per gram. LINK

That high cost is due in part to the processes involved in synthesizing a form of psilocybin that meets standards set by the US Food and Drug Administration’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations. Johnson says the chemists who create the drugs have never given him a line-item breakdown of exactly where all the money goes, but they do say that absolutely everything is tested and retested. The people doing the work, the chemistry procedures used to synthesize the compound, the purity of pre-cursors, and the equipment being used in the manufacturing process all have to meet certified standards … Much of Compass’s first 250-gram batch of psilocybin powder was used in testing the product. With the leftovers, they then had to figure out how to get the powder into capsules, making sure that the chemical didn’t change during the encapsulation process and that their measurements were precise. The capsules range in side, and include 1 mg, 10 mg, and 25 mg doses. “This process is also very stringent and labor-intensive and very expensive,” Malievskaia says. The company wouldn’t say exactly how much they charge academics for their drug but did say now that they’ve successfully started to manufacture such large quantities, the costs will be lower than academics paid in the past. GMP certification was “the major cost driver,” says Malievskaia.

Original Article (QZ):
Scientists who want to study psychedelic mushrooms have to pay $7,000 per gram
Artwork Fair Use: PBS

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