Rapamycin - Cost Benefit Analysis

Random Rapamycin musings on a Saturday morning…

I wanted to do a simple cost-benefit analysis on the use of Rapamycin based on my current knowledge and assumptions. Sometimes $$$ makes more of an impact on individuals than X numbers of extra life.

Assumptions (adjust as you wish):

  1. A year of healthy life is worth $200,000 USD
  2. A year of Rapamycin use costs $250 USD/year (3 mg + GFJ weekly)
  3. Rapamycin side-effects cost $250 USD/year to treat
  4. Course of Rapamycin use is 20 years for effects

Scenario 1: If Rapamycin works and gives an extra 5 years of healthy life for 20 years of use:
$200,000 * 5 years - $(250*2) * 20 years = $990,000 gain

Scenario 2: If Rapamycin doesn’t work but does not decrease life expectancy
$200,000 * 0 years - $(250*2) * 20 years = $10,000 loss

Would you pay $10,000 for an 80% chance at $990,000? I sure would.

Of course, it all depends on the odds. The ITP and the other studies (all 64+ of them) have shown an increase in healthy lifespan in model organisms almost 100% of the time. However, humans are not model organisms, so I would personally put the odds of Scenario 1 at 80% and Scenario 2 at 20%. There is Scenario 3 in which a bacterial infection or diabetes cuts short the life of an individual, but these adverse events can happen to anyone at any time. Just like getting hit by a bus.

$990,000 * .80 - $10,000 * .20 = $790,000 gain by taking Rapamycin.

Just a different way of thinking about things…