One of our readers, a retired GP, reports that he read once that, on average, it takes 17 years for a medical breakthrough to become common practice. But there are special reasons why it might take even longer for the use of Low Dose Naltrexone to become common practice, perhaps a lot longer, or perhaps it may never become common practice!
Firstly, doctors are used to, and perhaps only feel comfortable, recommending to patients medications that have received FDA approval. Getting FDA approval happens in this way. When a new drug has been discovered, one of the big pharmaceutical companies patents it, and then outlays the moneys, which can be considerable, to have it’s effectiveness thoroughly tested and for what purposes and symptoms, to the point that it gets FDA approval to be used for those purposes and symptoms, which then enables the pharmaceutical company to have a virtual monopoly to produce and sell the drug concerned until the patent runs out, in, perhaps, 20 years. But there are reasons why Low Dose Naltrexone will perhaps never receive FDA approval for the uses it is now being recommended for.
Naltrexone was discovered in 1965, and eventually got FDA approval for the treatment of alcohol and opioid dependence in 50 mg doses in the mid 80s. So patents on it have well and truly run out, and had well and truly run out before it’s incredible effectiveness, (described by some as one of the 5 biggest medical breakthroughs in history, and the biggest medical breakthrough for 50 years,) in treating a whole range of medical problems when taken in small doses like 6 mg instead of 50 mg doses, (hence the name Low Dose Naltrexone,) started to be discovered.
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Secondly, by far the most significant claims for it are that, not only does it help patients with existing medical problems that they may have, but it PREVENTS them from getting new ones. But doctors are not used to prescribing medications to PREVENT medical problems. And how is it proved that they have prevented anything? – if one has been on Low Dose Naltrexone for 15 years and not got cancer, it can easily be said that they wouldn’t have got it anyway.
Perhaps a lot more like this could be said, but, to us, no matter what is said along these lines, it still doesn’t explain what amounts to opposition to the use of Low Dose Naltrexone by doctors. We have done so much work trying to locate doctors in Sydney who advise on and perhaps prescribe LDN – and we haven’t found even one!
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