April 01, 2014
Early Expensive Rejuvenation Therapies To Offer High ROI

Rejuvenation therapies will start out expensive. Who will pay for them? People who can afford it. Why will they pay? It is not just about living longer. It is also about earning longer. This means that the earliest stage rejuvenation therapies can be very expensive. The market will still be very large even when the costs are still quite high. 167,000 people globally are worth more than $30 million each. Suppose a biotech company could come up with a series of gene therapies that cost $1 million to administer but extended life on average by 10 years. The market just among the super rich will add up to about $167 billion.

But a lot more people than that could afford $1 million treatments. The top 1% of households in America make over a half million dollars per year. That's millions of people in America alone. Take someone age 55 who is earning big money. First, they can afford a very expensive series of treatments, Plus a rejuvenation therapy that added to productive working years would pay for itself. If they could extend their working life by another 10 years (say from 65 to 75) at greater vigor then the money spent on gene therapy would pay itself back by multiples. Plus, the buyers would get to live longer.

Part of the payback on rejuvenation therapy comes in the form of savings in other health care spending. When a person gets rejuvenation therapies that even partially reverse body aging they'll avoid treatments for kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, heart disease, bad joints, and many other expensive maladies.

Gene therapy for brain rejuvenation would have the highest payoff. The highest paid brain workers could keep pulling on big bucks for longer. The work would even become easier to do as a a brain full of decades of experience and training gets boosts in short term memory, mathematical ability, spatial reasoning, and other brain capabilities.

When early stage rejuvenation therapies become available we should expect to see a few notable changes in lifestyles and career choices. First, those who can barely afford them will cut back on discretionary spending. Second, people will delay retirement to save more for treatments. Third, people will shift toward work that pays better in order to save more for treatments. Fourth, political demands by the elderly will soar to cut other forms of public expenditure and raise taxes in order to ramp up government spending on rejuvenation.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2014 April 01 10:18 PM 


Comments
James Bowery said at April 1, 2014 10:29 PM:

"Fourth, political demands by the elderly will soar to cut other forms of public expenditure and raise taxes in order to ramp up government spending on rejuvenation."

Non-starter politically for the same reason real immigration restriction is a non-starter: both Democrats and Republicans want to hasten the demise of the Nation of Settlers.

In this case the Democrats are just playing their normal game as The Evil Party, grabbing the land settled by The Nation of Settlers on behalf of immigrants in exchange for votes.

The Republicans are playing a slight modification of their normal game as The Stupid Party:

Here they want to demographically destroy their voter base not by importing politically hostile cheap labor, but by killing off entitlement recipients. As with the cheap labor stupidity, the Republicans are utterly oblivious to the long term demographic change that dooms them because they are blinded by short term profits for their puppet masters.

James Bowery said at April 2, 2014 6:41 AM:

For those not well versed in political economy, when I use the word "land" I am speaking of more than just real estate lot value, but of all economic rental properties. This can include things like taxi cab medallions, professions protected from competition by licensure, network effect income (such as enjoyed by Microsoft's de facto industry standard OS), government transfer programs, etc.

DdR said at April 3, 2014 6:58 AM:

Fifth, the young who are cut out of the better-paying jobs because the seniors won't retire will begin clamoring for change.

Sixth, the ratio between haves and have-nots will escalate to unseen levels as the rich don't die and keep building wealth.

Seventh, the have nots become restless. The rich will isolate themselves in gated communities (this will happen regardless of rejuvenation). Cities will begin turning into Escape from New York, i.e., they will begin looking like South American cities.

Eighth, the rich eventually will hole themselves up abroad in enclaves. I don't think Esylium is out of the question.

I'm all for rejuvenation, but we as a civilization are completely unready for it. What will we do with our increased time?

We have improved our productivity immensely, but people still work like dogs in cube farms. Where's the increased leisure? Why are people still holed up in projects? Because status is all relative, because you can't create infinitum golf courses, ski slopes, European cities, Bordeaux wines, Babbos, and hot girls.

That being said, once the genie's out of the bottle, there's no way of putting it back in.

Old Bruin EE said at April 3, 2014 3:17 PM:


Gene therapy for brain rejuvenation would have the highest payoff. The highest paid brain workers could keep pulling on big bucks for longer. The work would even become easier to do as a a brain full of decades of experience and training gets boosts in short term memory, mathematical ability, spatial reasoning, and other brain capabilities.

Indeed. However, I am not certain that it is quite that simple. I've read that as we age, our brains' visual-spatial abilities diminish while our analytic and verbal reasoning abilities increase (Ie, we become less Asian and more Jewish). There seems to be some compensation mechanism in the brain at work; that is, until our brains age so much (past late 60s) that everything diminishes. Unless we can actually boost IQ by increasing brain mass, growing more neurons for interconnections, or enhance plasticity in synapses, we may just be trading off one set of brain functions for another.

Those highest paid brain workers who are pulling in the big bucks have probably already traded in visual-spatial strengths for more verbal and analytic capabilities, so unless gene therapy enhances brain functions in some new and remarkable way, unwinding the clock may roll back some age-related benefits as well.

James Bowery said at April 3, 2014 4:11 PM:

Dihexa group buy is going on -- not that I recommend self administered testing of neurotrophics that have not gone through clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy. This is the pre-Ted Kennedy LSD era of a neurotrophics.

Old Bruin EE said at April 3, 2014 4:16 PM:


I'm all for rejuvenation, but we as a civilization are completely unready for it. What will we do with our increased time?

We have improved our productivity immensely, but people still work like dogs in cube farms. Where's the increased leisure? Why are people still holed up in projects? Because status is all relative, because you can't create infinitum golf courses, ski slopes, European cities, Bordeaux wines, Babbos, and hot girls.

We seem to have created a high-speed, profit-driven, consumer-oriented society out of these inventions and technologies. The increase in population has only exacerbated these conditions. In one sense, we do have more personal leisure in that we have copious amounts of time for web-surfing, music listening and video viewing. Whether these are satisfying types of leisure depends on one's own circumstances and station in life. Young people with few responsibilities and disposable income seem to be enjoying themselves, since they can now get instantaneous gratification online or nearby.

Besides status achievement, people are happier when they feel more interconnected with their family, friends, and community, and when they feel more in control of their lives and their destinies. Rampant diversity, over-population, and a downward economy all seem to have detracted from quality of life.

Until we can get these things under control, the fruits of rejuvenation therapy and higher productivity may just be a more proficient and higher-profit workforce.

Brett Bellmore said at April 4, 2014 3:05 AM:

"unwinding the clock may roll back some age-related benefits as well."

Seems to me that the verbal reasoning rests on a huge knowledge base, while the visual-spacial reasoning is almost pure native capacity. So the former holds up well, not because the hardware is improving, but because the growing knowledge base is compensating for the deterioration in the hardware end of things. While the decline in visual-spacial directly reflects what is going on with the hardware.

Now, there is some risk that, if you artificially boosted plasticity, you'd start losing memories at an accelerated rate. Plasticity may be the reason we don't remember our early childhoods, our brains are learning fast, but not retaining anything that isn't regularly used. However, I might be willing to pay that price for the learning rate.

Martin M. said at April 5, 2014 9:01 PM:

The fastest way to develop regenerative medicine might be to focus on smaller goals.

Build sustainable businesses based on the easiest rejuvenation problems to solve, like cosmetic procedures.

There's certainly the demand for them.

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