A recent message looked at longevity options created by an amazing email forwarded to me from my long time friend and health care provider, Joe Spano MD. This email showed how University of Southern California has announced that they’ve extended the lifespan of yeast bacteria tenfold — and the recipe they used to do it might easily translate into humans. In other words, humans could live to be 800. If you missed this message see https://www.garyascott.com/2008/02/08/1984.html
I asked for thoughts from readers and thank you for sending an overwhelming response. We’ll work through the many replies in a number of messages but I especially like this one to start because it looks directly at the economic side of this issue.
“Hi Gary, I work in the pharmaceutical field. I do not work for a drug manufacturer. To me claims of this nature are a bit sensationalized and I feel they are done to obtain more research funding.
“One of the main problems with our entire medical system is that all the researchers compete against each other for money. This is not the case in other industrialized nations. ‘Tinkering with two genes’ makes the process sound easy when in fact this could take 10 or 20 years of research. The bigger question to ask is why would the pharmaceutical companies want to do this? They are making sooo much money off ill people.
“Why do you think they never find a cure for diseases that strike millions of people…..they would lose profits.
“If you look at the drugs developed over the past 20 years there are few that cure anything, they simply make the disease more manageable.
“It all boils down to profits.
“When I worked for Merck I sold Fossamax. They changed their formula to a once weekly pill and upped the price by $30.00 so Patients were purchasing 4 pills for $30 more than a 30 day supply.
How does that benefit the Patient? I work for a large Pharmacy but my co-pays for some of my drugs are more at my own employer than to pay cash for my prescriptions at a competitor. Needless to say the entire industry is skewed.
“You wrote an excellent piece on the industry several months ago…it all boils down to profit!
Thanks for listening.”
These are good points and the money involved is one factor I wanted to get you thinking about.
It is thinking about the economic and social issues and how they are intertwined that I hope our review in these messages stimulate in your mind.
What I hope you will not do is bury your head in the sand like this reader who wrote:
“YOUR REPORT ABOUT YOUR DOCTOR BUDDY WHO IS LOOKING AT SOMETHING TO EXTEND LIFE….THIS IS TOO WAY OUT….FIRST TELL YOUR DOC BUDDY NOT TO WASTE HIS TIME….SECOND LET ME ENLIGHTEN YOU….WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE…JUST A FACT OF LIFE, SO GET OVER IT…WE CANNOT LIVE FOREVER…AND WHY USE ECUDORIANS AS GUINNY PIGS??…..ALSO NOT REALLY IMPRESSED BY YOUR DOCS BUDDIES BIO…SHOULD BE HELPING PEOPLE AND NOT TO WORRYING ABOUT LIVING FOREVER, WASTE OF TIME.”
Let me first state for the record that I have no interest in living forever or even to 800.
One reader wrote and said: “Gary, I am not sure I want to be 800.”
My reply was: “Thanks, I am not sure about 800 either. If given a choice I do not think I would want to remain in this physical form that long. Too many other things to do!”
More to the point, few of us will get the choice. We will look at why in an upcoming message and also look at why many would not choose to live to 800 anyway.
However the point I want to make here is that many…huge numbers of people would like to try.
The demand they create will be a driving economic force. Plus in the process, research may up the life span to 150 years at first.
Genetic research is huge and may bring the next wave of productivity…the largest we have seen yet.
There will be economic ramifications whether we like the doctors, researchers or the idea of longevity or not.
Regardless of how long you want to live or think humans should live…recognize…think about…and adjust to the reality that there will be a thrust in this direction.
Ask how can this quest for longevity might affect your life and the lives of those around you…however long it may be?
If you have a thought or opinion I’ll be happy to share it. Until next message may you be blessed with life as long as you desire and may longevity help enrich your life.
Join Merri and me this Mar. 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ in Ecuador. We’ll be reviewing bio investing.
Mar. 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour
Mar. 12-14 Coastal Real Estate tour
Most delegates in March will join us for two or three courses as there is a sizable savings.