Mexico’s government said a “vaccine” against heroin addiction, which it patented this week, will be ready for human use in roughly five years.
During a working visit to the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, Health Secretary Salomon Chertorivski said all the laboratory experiments have already been carried out on rats and “the next step is testing on humans.”
The vaccine must undergo a “normal development process” and therefore at least another five years of work will be required before it can be used by human beings, Chertorivski told reporters Friday.
“We can be very proud of our scientists at the National Institute of Psychiatry because they’ve achieved something that hasn’t been achieved in other areas of the world,” the minister said.
“And it’s not only heroin; that’s what’s been patented so far but we’re advancing rapidly on (programs against addictions to) cocaine (and) methamphetamines.”
During his visit, Chertorivski supervised the quality of medical care, as well as progress in anti-addiction programs, in Ciudad Juarez.
The health minister announced Wednesday during the launch of a technology transfer network for addiction treatment that “Mexico has now succeeded in patenting the first vaccine against heroin use and we’re working on more” for other addictive substances.
The network, inaugurated by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, is a technological platform that will improve efforts to combat drug addiction and which has received $18 million from the Merida Initiative, a U.S.-funded regional plan to battle drug cartels and organized crime.