Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the science community and social planners are going to some day announce humans ought to take some pill to prolong youthful years of life and extend the duration of life altogether.
Oh, yes, the Rand think tank suggested Medicare place an anti-aging pill into future Medicare budgets, but that is a forgotten suggestion a decade old now. Social Security would run out of money almost overnight should such a pill materialize. In fact, part of Social Security payments are now being made out of general revenues, not coming from many trust fund that has been built up over the years.
A bona fide pill that would slow or reverse aging would simply address all age-related diseases (cataracts, cancer, diabetes, heart disease) and eliminate the need for many prescription medicines and a lot of doctoring. We couldn’t have any of that, it would be bad for the economy. No, Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health are not going to bless an anti-aging pill. Which leaves the individual longevity seeker to perform an unguided search for an anti-aging pill based upon their limited knowledge.
But every once in a while, a researcher or two steps out of line to mumble something about implementation of life-extending technologies, you know, actually using something like a red-wine anti-aging pill. A couple of free-thinking researchers from the Ukraine, of all places, just wrote a report entitled: “Longevity-Promoting Pharmaceuticals: Is It A Time For Implementation?”
These researchers point out the FDA does not recognize aging as a medical condition and yet this is a contradictory position given that FDA approves drugs for medical conditions like bone loss (osteoporosis), high blood pressure and heart attacks that are all age-related problems. So the FDA approves single molecules that have single drug targets to remedy single diseases. But given the U.S. Department of Justice is now prosecuting companies for making anti-aging claims for any nutraceuticals, any such scientific advances that squeeze out into the marketplace are going to have to be muzzled and handcuffed. To appease the demand for an anti-aging pill, Metformin, a problematic anti-diabetic drug, has been selected for the first 5-year trial among senior adults.
These Ukrainian researchers write:
“We have argued here that targeting aging per se can be a more effective approach to postponing or pre- venting age-related disorders compared with treatments targeted to specific pathological conditions. A recent analysis ….demonstrated that substantial socioeconomic benefits might be derived from this approach compared with current public health strategies targeted to the prevention of particular diseases. According to this analysis, the economic impact of delaying aging and increasing healthspan in the USA was estimated to be US $7 trillion dollars over a further 50 years. Hence, it seems obvious that the discovery of new drug targets based on bio-gerontological research represents an incredible opportunity for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.” [Trends Pharmacological Science May 2016]
Well, even the smartest scientists can be a bit naïve. Anti-aging pills exist. You will just have to figure it out for yourself. Any blessing of such a pill will be on the timing and terms of the drug companies and their lackey politicians, not determined by public need or demand. Unfortunately, fearful of running out of retirement money and living extended years of life in a debilitated state (diapered, wheelchaired, feebleminded) the public is not clamoring for an anti-aging pill or this could get to be the biggest political issue ever. Such a pill would probably have to be written into the Constitution. Abortions will remain on demand. End-of-life instructions are now encouraged. Withholding hydration (drinking water) in the latter stage of life is now “ethical.”They are doing just that in Great Britain now.