A 2,000-Year-Old Wonder Drug

And it’s not regulated by the FDA.

Developed in 1897 by the German chemist Felix Hoffmann, aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, has long proved its value as an analgesic. Two millenniums before that, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used its active ingredient — which he extracted from the bark and leaves of the willow tree — to help alleviate pain and fevers.

Many high-quality research studies have confirmed that the use of aspirin substantially reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease [through] a variety of mechanisms, including keeping blood clots from forming.

New reports about aspirin’s benefits in cancer prevention are just as convincing…in part, by dampening an immune response called inflammation.

Source: The New York Times.

Comments (10)

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  1. August says:

    “Why is it merely voluntary for physicians to inform their patients about a health care intervention that could not only help them, but also save untold billions in taxpayer dollars each year?”

    Looks like a sound evidenced based policy.

  2. Will says:

    What makes you think that aspirin is not regulated by FDA?

  3. Adam says:

    Is it not regulated by the FDA? That is really scary especially after the recent compounding pharmacy fiascos.

  4. Dorothy Calabrese, M.D., says:

    “And it’s not regulated by the FDA. . .”

    In 1974, the FDA threatened to take aspirin and kaopectate [ingredients subsequently changed] off the market because their “mechanisms of action” were not “adequately” known then. A medical student, I was working with a world-class gastroenterologist at Columbia at the time. He had many patients who were seriously threatened by this FDA proposal. That was only one of many subspecialties, including rheumatology, which was threatened to be thrown into chaos.

    Dorothy Calabrese, M.D.
    Allergy & Immunology San Clemente, CA

  5. Jordan says:

    Gah, what next..
    Isn’t anyhing safe from government regulation anymore? Are bureaucrats really just sitting around twisting their moustache and scheming on what to get their hands in next?

  6. Dr. James Franco says:

    ^^ I find that mental image amusing.

    for example, shouldn’t we suggest that middle-aged Americans speak to their doctors about aspirin?

    I’m fairly certain that Bayer has been all over this for quite some time.

  7. Buster says:

    I’ve read that early concoctions of acetylsalicylic acid made from the bark of the willow tree were caustic and could irritate your stomach will it’s hard to imagine. Felix Hoffmann basically found a way to make the active ingredient much easier to tolerate.

  8. seyyed says:

    is there anything about aspirin that the FDA would need to regulate?

  9. Life of Pi says:

    “There is a big difference between what we have the right to do and what is right to do.” Health care reform should focus on the latter. Now that a bad choice has an economic impact on everyone, in the form of higher medicare cost, policies should also orient accordingly. Doing so might cut down on the high cost of medical care on the country.

  10. Neil Caffrey says:

    “aspirin’s benefits in cancer prevention are just as convincing”
    – this is great news!