Deepening the Puzzle

One of the many oddities in the way in which the public at large approaches aging is captured by the existence of a thriving "anti-aging" marketplace, full of people selling fake silver bullets and fraudulent potions, alongside a pervasive lack of interest in scientific research aimed at extending human life, and outright rejection of the goal of extending human life in many quarters. One would think that a market claiming to sell ways to turn back the clock - or at least disguise the fact that the clock is ticking - could not thrive without interest in the supposed goal of their products, yet there is little manifestation of that interest when it comes to actually, really doing something about slowing or reversing aging, rather than just throwing money at faking it.

Here is another data point to add to the existence of the "anti-aging" marketplace when trying to understand what is going on here:

A study [finds] that in 2011 spending on medications for aging conditions - such as mental alertness, sexual dysfunction, menopause, aging skin and hair loss - ranked third in annual prescription-drug costs of the commercially insured, surpassed only by the cost of treating diabetes and high cholesterol.

The research found that among these insured individuals use of drugs to treat the physical impact associated with normal aging was up 18.5 percent and costs increased nearly 46 percent from 2006 to 2011. Increased use of these drugs was even more pronounced for the Medicare population (age 65+), up 32 percent from 2007 to 2011. The largest utilization jump among Medicare beneficiaries was from 2010 to 2011, up more than 13 percent and outpacing increases in the use of drugs for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure combined.



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