Real Antiaging Will Have 100 Times the Impact of HIV Drugs on the World

HIV drugs turned what was a death sentence within about 5 years into a chronic condition where treated people have almost the same lifespan as those who are not infected.

Currently, HIV drugs cost $75 in Africa and $39,000 in the U.S.

The distribution of treatment and costs could represent what might happen with the emergence of effective anti-aging or age-reversal treatments. HIV drugs also had a similar improvement on lifespan for its patients to what we can expect for real antiaging damage repair treatments. HIV drugs boost lifespans by about thirty years and antiaging treatments in the 2030-2050s could provide a similar 30 year boost to human lifespans.

Over ten to twenty years the first wave of anti-aging and age reversal treatments could emerge. If they were largely based upon gene therapies or drugs then they would be administered via injections.

It took about seven years for the drugs to get developed and widely distributed in developing countries. This was from 1995-2002. The initial drugs were also distributed in Africa and reached about 1 million people by 2005 and is now about half of the infected population.

Globally 38 million people have HIV. This about 0.5% of the world population. There is also an infection that is ten times higher in parts of Africa versus the developed world. There will be one billion seniors in the world by 2020. There would be 26 times more people treated for antiaging who are seniors than those with HIV.

HIV Drugs Saved the Economies of Some Hard Hit African Countries

The HIV drugs prevented deaths for people mainly in their 20-40s into deaths in their 60s or 70s.

HIV infections are about 0.5% of the world population. The number of people that would need to be treated for antiaging is 200 times larger.

Some countries in Africa have a 20% HIV infection rate. The economic and lifespan recovery that they experienced would be about 5 to ten times less the potential boom of effective anti-aging treatments for seniors and the rest of the population.

Antiaging drugs and gene therapy that increase life and health by 30-40 years could mean deaths in 70-90s become deaths in the 110-130s.

1-2 million lives per year are saved with HIV drugs and this is increasing. Thirty-year anti-aging or age reversal boost would be forty times bigger in terms of global deaths avoided and as impactful on an individual basis.

A 35-year boost would potentially double the productive adult years from 16 to 65 to 16 to 110.

There could be a 1-3% annual boost in GDP as this is rolled out to each country. 1% of the people do not die and rejuvenation would boost the productivity and health of those who are treated. It would be a massive boost to countries with larger senior populations if the treatments worked on seniors.

Japan and European countries with large senior populations would see the greatest economic benefit.

If Antiaging Made Elderly Like Middle Aged

Assuming a developed country could rollout treatment to seniors over five years then Japan would see a 7% per year GDP boost for five years and Germany and some European countries would see 5% per year GDP boosts for five years. If it took ten years then the initial GDP boost would be half that amount. There would be an ongoing boost of 1% GDP growth boost as people that were expected to get sick and die did not.

Japan has 75 million people of working age (16-64) and 40 million who are 65 or older. Only about 60% of the working age people are working. Effective rejuvenation could add 24 million people back into the workforce.

The population pyramids now and in 2050 are already different. People are already expected to live 5 years longer in 2050 in the developed countries. There is already a five-year difference in life expectancy between the US and Japan. There is a 20 to 30-year life expectancy difference between some African countries and the developed countries.

SOURCES- Our World in Data, Population Pyramid, Federal Reserve Economic Research

Written By Brian Wang

26 thoughts on “Real Antiaging Will Have 100 Times the Impact of HIV Drugs on the World”

  1. If the anti-aging treatments are cheaper than the cost of senior care and that someone can be over 100 and still in the work force rather than social security, then there would be real economic incentives to get people to take anti-aging treatment.

  2. I intend to take Social Security and my pension through 2034. I expect that at some point Social Security will be reduced or not increased enough to keep up with inflation. I expect that, should indefinite lifespans become the norm, Social Security will dwindle away to nearly nothing through inflation. In the same vein, I expect that pensions will eventually shutdown and give a lump sum settlement to the recipients. This will likely require new laws, but they will be passed. No one will ever again offer lifetime pensions after that.

    Most earned income comes from either wages or capital. Currently, capital based income is growing as a percentage of all earned income, which means wage-based income, as a percentage of all income, decreases correspondingly. Even without classic retirement, it therefore makes more sense than ever to plan for a future where a larger percentage of your earned income comes from capital rather than wages.

    In other words: save your money and invest it well and do it now. In the future that may be harder to do if wage-based earnings keep getting supplanted by capital based earnings. Don’t count on UBIs or SS or pensions. Unfortunately, many people seem psychologically unable to save money (or even plan ahead).

    On the plus side, even the very rich tend to work, but they work at things they want to work at, and when and how hard they want to work at them. Rich or not, that’s where you want to be as the centuries go by.

  3. I was talking about the idea that it’s elective. In the developed world, I don’t think so. In places where insurance isn’t much of a thing, there isn’t much difference between elective and non-elective medical procedures.

    Anyway, what’s charged in the developed world to recoup research expenses and make profit is different from the “compassionate”, price of production extended to developing countries. When it comes to price of production, why would it have to cost $10 a day? Once it’s mature and past the expensive “fixing problems after they pop up” stage, it’ll probably be a couple mass produced injections taken once a decade. The sort of thing that doctors without borders will give away to any villager in a tent, at least once all the lawsuits about out-of-patent production are settled.

    Of course, they won’t do a full physical and check if there’s tissue penetrance issues and so on. And I bet a lot of people in Africa getting HIV drugs don’t have their dosage adjusted according to their viral load and liver health either. So they will be healthier, mostly, and occasionally not. True health security will depend on economic development, just like today.

  4. Declaring aging as a disease would simplify things, but aging is a risk factor for so many recognized diseases that it would be almost impossible for this to not be a recognized preventative for one or more of them.

    And we do cover long term prevention for diseases that people show no sign of, with the only necessary criterion being the age of the patient; this is how statins are prescribed.

  5. The high paying jobs will be the first to be automated. The first of the anti-aging therapies will be with us before 2025. I would also expect to see low cost exaflop computers by 2027. With powerful computers and cheap DNA sequencing, and accurate cheap gene editing tools, we will be able to manipulate all living organisms.

  6. Well, if you can remain in the workforce indefinitely you don’t need “retirement” funds. Just long-term savings/investments. And if you save long enough you can actually have enough net worth that eventually don’t have to work at all and just live off the interest. But for sure you don’t have to “retire” due to inability to work.

    Of course non-aging doesn’t mean living forever. Just means a life expectancy in the order of several hundred to a couple of thousand years. And the dead will be due to some accident, freak infection, suicide , and in any case , quite abrupt…

  7. One possible solution is to require X years of employment for each year of pension. It doesn’t have to be a minimum age. But with regards to creating new jobs, there’s also the question of coming automation and possibly other developments. I think we’re headed towards a post-labor world. How that will play out is a big question of its own.

  8. There’s my money, and there’s Social Security. I’m quite aware that the idea that they’ve been socking away my payments, and will start giving them back to me in a few years is a fiction. They spent the money as it came in, and will pay me by ripping off a new generation of suckers.

    I’m rather more attached to my (Entirely inadequate, I got taken to the cleaners by my first wife.) private retirement savings. Given effective life extension treatments, I could eventually build that up to the point where I might actually retire on my own resources.

  9. if i am about to point a gun at you and ask “your life and money” would you choose the money? Rejuv is the same thing just postponed in time, and probably , more expensive yet amortized over the years

  10. When the baby-boomers entered the workforce at kinda the same time women started participating in full-time employment there were no structural reductions in the employment. The new jobs just appeared because thew extra workers were also extra consumers.

    For some people or local sectors it could be hard or even brutal but on average rejuv doesn’t bring any extra unemployment, ceteris paribus. In fact, it could lead to less upheavals as the longer living consumers will be more conservative and that might dampen the economic shocks from the future technological transitions…

  11. It might be like that initially. But there several things that will mitigate the problem somehow. The first is that if you don’t have enough money to pay your food the aging is a distant secondary concern for you. Then the world poverty rates are going down so the people will have much more means in the future. And when the patents expire the generic drugs will become quite cheap (could be behind the bleeding edge therapies but still working and , most importantly, affordable). Also , mass production tends to reduce the cost by 15% for each doubling of the production volume (for mature products).

  12. The zero sum world we live in must clearly be overturned and replaced by a universe with few if any bounds. Our witless teachers, professors, journalists, and politicians could never help us reach such a boundless universe, so we must overturn them quite early on.

    Those who suffered through the school systems and all the rest of the dulling down society of the zero sum and can still think, must do much of the thinking for those who live in stupor, until they begin to recover from their zero sum mental prisons.

  13. Honestly, if I got life extension and lost every cent I’ve been required to put into Social Security over the years, I’d consider that a win.

  14. I would have assumed the the $75 price was being subsidized by foreign AID and various charities, possibly the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Then I found this from the New York Times:

    What does it cost to make each year’s supply of that $39,000 therapy? Well, the generic manufacturers Aurobindo and Mylan, which supply the drug in Africa, make a profit when they sell it to the United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — two organizations that buy drugs for low-income countries. So logic says it must cost less than $75.

    Apparently, rather than having wealthier countries pay a surcharge to fund making low priced drugs available in the third world, the real answer is to tar and feather the executives at big pharma (and the corporate captured officials that allow them to do this to us).

    Going back to life extension treatments, I find it difficult to believe they will cost less than a daily trip to Starbucks, which means that, for well over half the world, they will be well out of reach, even if those people were to give up spending on anything else. I don’t expect any amount of charity would suffice, either, as 4 billion people multiplied by, say, $10 per day. Even the Gates, giving everything they have, wouldn’t make it through day 3.

    Will people in third world countries revolt because they see their one-percenters and their corrupt leaders living on indefinitely? History suggests they won’t.

  15. Yes, but then the people would willingly pay for the treatments. How much would you pay to not to have to feel over 45 ?

  16. Only if you raised the age for SS; The government financially depends on people dying shortly after qualifying for all sorts of benefits.

  17. The problem is, the FDA says aging is not a disease now, and so government or private insurance won’t cover it. This is one reason most of the major trials are aimed at curing a specific narrow disease, usually something pretty rare for which there is no current good treatment. Anti-aging is just a “side effect.” This has to change too but we’d need a new Administration for that, I think.

  18. I think the economic effects will be much more negative initially. The assumption is that the super seniors will stay or return to the workforce. But those who have reached an economic equilibrium, whether through their own investments, pensions or figuring out how to make it on government aid will have to incentive to rejoin. Conversely, they will be living longer and putting more pressure on the usually under funded pension and government retirement systems. In fact if we assume a 20 year increase in life span and no increase in minimum age to collect benefits all retirement systems are under funded because the underlying actuarial tables used to determine funding requirements become obsolete overnight.

    Over time that will work itself out, but super seniors in the workforce will still require the economy to produce more jobs than it currently does. As people work longer their jobs don’t become available to the next generation and that leads to other social pressures.

  19. I doubt it. If the companies developing these treatments have any sense, they will price aging treatment at 90% of the average aggregate cost of all other diseases an elderly person gets – a fortune, but a good deal for any insurance system that runs the numbers. Since running the numbers is basically all that insurance systems do, they’ll all want to cover it.

  20. Realistically, I can’t see how treatments like this wouldn’t be covered by Medicare and Medicaid, just like any other effective medical treatment, and since the cost savings in other expenses means Medicare wouldn’t need to increase premiums to do it, the treatments effectively would be given away for “free” by default.

  21. If the economic boost is as strong as Brian says – and it probably is, and even more for reasons we don’t even know yet – then Government should just give the money for the treatments for free. It would pay off in decreased health expenditures for Medicare/Medicaid and even Social Security (since people could work and pay into it longer).

  22. The most interesting part missing here, is the price of the drugs.
    They go to goverment payed schools, and after a whole life of funding, they ask lots of money for it. I have no respect for those people. #opensource medication

  23. Although it will probably change over time, I think the initial reaction will be to view life extension as something more like elective surgery. How much is a good nose job, facelift, and a tummy tuck in these places where HIV treatment is $75?

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