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posted by janrinok on Monday August 15 2016, @01:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the money,-money,-money dept.

I ran across a story in the acclaimed “medical journal”, International Business Times, about how an old PMS medication from the 60s might be an Alzheimer's cure. Considering the source, I don't put a ton of stock in the story but it was interesting enough to look around a little more. That led me first to wikipedia to learn a little more about the drug in question (sounds like it has nasty side effects), which is when I got totally sidetracked:

Mefenamic acid is generic and is available worldwide under many brand names.[5]

In the USA, wholesale price of a week's supply of generic mefenamic acid has been quoted as $426.90 in 2014. Brand-name Ponstel is $571.70.[15] In contrast, in the UK, a weeks supply is £1.66, or £8.17 for branded Ponstan.[16] In the Philippines, 10 tablets of 500 mg generic mefenamic acid cost PHP39.00 (or the equivalent of $0.88USD) as of October 25, 2014.

The numbers in wikipedia may be extreme, but not by much. Looking online, I see that thirty 250mg tablets cost at least $111 at Walmart. In an almost direct reversal of the quantity and price numbers, one hundred 250mg tablets cost $35 from a UK manufacturer, but to get the drug at that price, you must break Federal law.

The rest of my comment would be a long string of expletives which I shall omit.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Monday August 15 2016, @08:50AM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Monday August 15 2016, @08:50AM (#388129) Journal

    Lots of interesting and relevant chatter here about the prices of drugs around the world, which is nice, but what about the other news mentioned in TFA: You know, the frigging CURE FOR ALZHEIMERS!?!?! Anyone care to cast some insight? Could this be real or are we looking at the usual "giddy reporter blows results of a limited preliminary study on mouse cells in a petri dish way out of proportion and announces cure" disappointment? Is there existing research on this interaction or is this a brand new avenue of inquiry? Is it an actual *cure* (ie reverse the effects of alzheimers, restore memories that were thought to be lost) or is it more preventative in nature (ie take it as soon as disease is diagnosed to stop it getting any worse)?

    Alzheimer's is one of those diseases I reeeeeally hope they've cured before I get old.

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Monday August 15 2016, @09:10AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 15 2016, @09:10AM (#388130) Journal

    Alzheimer's is one of those diseases I reeeeeally hope they've cured before I get old.

    But you are old already. Have you forgot, Great Aunt Amnesia?

    (grin)

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Monday August 15 2016, @12:18PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 15 2016, @12:18PM (#388154) Homepage Journal

    There is a promising antibody therapy for Alzheimer's going through stage 2 or 3 trials now. The results so far are promising.

    While we're on the subject of aging, there are several promising therapies for Parkinson's going through trials now. It appears to be prion disease. Expect this one to be curable in five or ten years.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Monday August 15 2016, @03:32PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday August 15 2016, @03:32PM (#388211) Journal

    So far this year, I've seen a dozen or more news stories about another promising new treatment for Alz. Transfusions of children's blood (well, that's for aging in general, not solely Alz), ultrasound to stimulate the brain's waste disposal system, gene therapy, the M13 virus, and of course magic drugs such as TC-2153.

    Then there are preventative measures such as eating food with lots of turmeric.

    It all sounds great, but it's a big leap to go from these reports to an effective treatment available to all.

    There's bad news too. Hormone Replacement Therapy was a big medical fad around 2000, but was eventually found to cause other problems and not actually help much or at all. One of the problems it caused was a doubling in the chance of getting Alzheimer's. The whole HRT craze turned out to be drug company profiteering at the expense of public health. My mother was subjected to HRT, and now she has severe Alzheimer's. Whether Alz would not have happened if she hadn't been subjected to HRT, I suppose no one will ever know. But I noticed she had a personality change around the same time as she must have started HRT, became a happier, nicer person. I thought she'd turned over a new leaf. Now I think that may have been an early symptom of Alz. One of the most incredibly depressing things about Alz is that the victims often do start acting as if they're on happiness drugs, and it's pleasant for everyone, for a while.

    • (Score: 1) by fubari on Monday August 15 2016, @04:50PM

      by fubari (4551) on Monday August 15 2016, @04:50PM (#388257)

      Can you be more specific about your mother's HRT? I really do want to know - it is something I'm actively researching for my parents. For example, was Premarin involved? Dosing schedule & tests + frequency if you happen to know.

      • (Score: 1) by fubari on Monday August 15 2016, @04:52PM

        by fubari (4551) on Monday August 15 2016, @04:52PM (#388259)

        (also, meant to say sorry to hear about her getting hit with alzheimers before hitting submit)

        • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday August 15 2016, @06:41PM

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday August 15 2016, @06:41PM (#388321) Journal

          I can look, may have some records still, but it's been 15 years since HRT for her was quietly dropped. It was for menopause, and I expect she would have received whatever was thought a "standard" treatment at the time.

          • (Score: 1) by fubari on Tuesday August 23 2016, @06:32PM

            by fubari (4551) on Tuesday August 23 2016, @06:32PM (#392232)

            ok, thanks for the context - don't worry about following up. That is long enough ago that my best guess would be they were prescribing premarin (I've yet to read anything good about permarin). At any rate... anyone stumbling on this should search for "bioidentical hormone replacement therapy".

  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday August 15 2016, @09:53PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday August 15 2016, @09:53PM (#388422)

    > Alzheimer's is one of those diseases I reeeeeally hope they've cured before I get old.

    I expect it will be, because while old rich guys typically don't give a rat's ass about some poor-people affecting distant Marburg, Dengue or Zika, you're not to only one afraid you'll eventually get diagnosed with it, and there's no sure way to avoid it.
    There's a powerful fan-club for funding research, even government grants, to fix Old-timers, Parkinson's and prostate cancer.