The Global Healthspan Policy Institute is a new group that will focus on lobbying for longevity science, primarily in the US, but some of the participating members bring experience from similar efforts in Europe. This initiative is organized by a mix of new faces and folk you might be familiar with from the International Longevity Alliance and other advocacy organizations in the community. For the past few months the GHPI members have been making connections and setting out an agenda in order to take a swing at the same targets as the Longevity Dividend initiative, which is to say (a) recognition of the value of treating aging among the politicians and bureaucrats who set and allocate public funding for research, and (b) greater funding for those lines of research most likely to produce results. At present, that second point largely boils down to more funding for the National Institute on Aging (NIA), though I imagine that once a debate is opened in earnest many more options than that are on the table.
On that second count, I should say that the initiatives to date, such as the Longevity Dividend, fall down badly to my eyes, as open and public support for SENS rejuvenation research has been pretty thin on the ground among those involved in lobbying. This is, of course, setting aside my views on involving government at all in these matters - the net outcome of the package deal of government funding (National Institutes of Health) plus government regulation (FDA) is a negative to my eyes. Public funding for medical research represents perhaps a third of the overall total, but the FDA certainly represents more than a third of the cost of bringing medicine to market, and that isn't even to start in on the way in which regulatory costs remove many lines of development from economic viability, ensuring that countless new therapies are never built.
I'm in a minority with that position, needless to say. The overwhelming majority of the research community support the existing system, even broken as it is, and would rather work to change it slowly through lobbying than bypass it via philanthropy and medical tourism, as would be my preference. Even outside the research world, the sheer size of public budgets has a mesmerizing effect, I think, causing people to forget that tapping them is a corrupting, difficult process that rarely produces the desired outcome. Just ask the molecular nanotechnologists who tried more than a decade ago to obtain US government support for their work as publicity swelled: they were outmaneuvered by existing factions, and their visions derided and spokespeople attacked where that helped said existing factions. Where funds were deployed in alleged support of nanotechnology development, they went to those organizations already well-equipped with lobbyists, and to existing projects that had nothing to do with nanotechnology as defined in the original vision. It was very much a cautionary tale made real.
In any case, it seems clear that we're reaching the point at which a critical mass of people are enthused by the potential for the medical control of aging, and are now ramping up new organizations to engage the political class and sway present streams of funding. The Global Healthspan Policy Institute have allied with the Longevity Dividend researchers, among others, and are readying for their first efforts to obtain more support for aging research in the US political system. Unlike the Longevity Dividend folk, the Global Healthspan Policy Institute principals are at least somewhat more inclined to support SENS rejuvenation research as a strategy based on what I know of them.
For the first time in the history of humanity, we're faced with the prospect of a planet where the elderly outnumber the young. As the broken budgets of already strained healthcare systems struggle to cope with this revolutionary shift and the associated burden of degenerative disease, new science tells us we are within reach of healthier, longer lives - while our public policies remain decades out-of-step.
We're leading the charge in bold new policy initiatives on Capitol Hill and around the world, ensuring that policy makers have the tools and resources they need to make the right decision for the people they represent. We invite you to learn more about our mission, principles, and priorities as we take the steps necessary to bring our timely and powerful message to the world.
We are a patient-centered, consumer-oriented public policy coalition and 501c3 nonprofit thinktank working directly with members of the healthspan research industry and scientific community worldwide in support of the large-scale research and development of new treatments to address the underlying causes of aging-related disease. Our direct role is to facilitate the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in a think tank setting in order to create broader consumer and regulatory acceptance for new treatments relevant to our core purpose of advancing the development of immediate interventions for aging-related disease.
A new think tank to support the research and development of innovative treatments for the underlying causes of aging-related disease has been founded in Washington, D.C. The Global Healthspan Policy Institute represents a member network of over 50,000 international supporters. GHPI's present focus is in educating Congress and members of the Administration on the current impact of aging-related disease on public health, well-being, and the economy: (1) Nearly 75% of all U.S. deaths are linked to 9 aging-related diseases. (2) By 2030, the number of U.S. adults aged 65 years or older will more than double, to about 71 million, and Medicare spending will increase by 25% ($9 billion). (3) One-third of all Medicare spending ($15,000 per person) is tied to aging disease. (4) The economic value of treating the underlying causes of aging-related disease in the U.S. - instead of just one disease at a time - is projected at $7.1 trillion for the next 50 years.
"Medicare and the healthcare systems have spent untold trillions on the 'one disease, one cure, one treatment' model. However, if we address the aging processes that are happening in our bodies right now - and that will lead to a host of new and existing diseases in the future - we can stop these problems before they ever begin, and halt the economic crisis that's bankrupting America. Extending the healthspan, and dramatically reducing the period of compromised living, is now clearly in sight. Longer, healthier living is no longer a hope for the future. It is a reality for the present if we will embrace and invest in the current options that are available to us."