turchin comments on Expected cost per life saved of the TAME trial - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: turchin 26 May 2018 10:32:11AM 1 point [-]

Thanks for this detailed analysis. I think that the main difference in our estimations is the number of adopters, which is 1.3 percent in your average case. In my estimation, it was almost a half of the world population.

This difference highlights the important problem: how to make really good life-extending intervention widely adopted. This question is related not only to metformin, but for any other interventions, including now known interventions such as sport, healthy diet and quitting smoking, which all depends on a person's will.

Taking a pill will require fewer efforts than quitting smoking, and around 70 percent of US adult population is taking some form of supplements. https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/contents/view_online-exclusives/2016-10-31/over-170-million-americans-take-dietary-supplements/

However, supplements market depends on expensive advertising, not on real benefits of the supplements.

Comment author: Lila 27 May 2018 12:01:16AM 0 points [-]

Metformin isn't a supplement though. It's unlikely it would ever get approved as a supplement or OTC, especially given that it has serious side effects.

Comment author: turchin 27 May 2018 10:08:03AM 0 points [-]

That is why I think that we should divide discussion in two lines: One is the potential impact of simple interventions in life extension, which are many, and another is, is it possible that metformin will be such simple intervention.

In case of metformin, there is a tendency to prescribe it to the larger share of the population, as a first line drug of diabetes 2, but I think that its safety should be personalized by some genetic tests and bloodwork for vitamin deficiency.

Around 30 mln people in US or 10 per cent of the population already have diabetes 2 (https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/statistics) and this population share is eligible for metformin prescriptions.

This means that we could get large life expecting benefits replacing prescription drugs not associated with longevity - with longevity associated drugs for the same condition, like metformin for diabetes, lazortan for hypertension, aspirin for blood thining etc.