Last month a team of doctors and scientists made the case to regulators at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to consider approving anti-aging drugs as a new pharmaceutical class. Such a designation would treat aging as disease rather than a natural process, potentially opening the door to government funding for anti-aging drug trials.
Aging is very expensive for post-industrial society. The reason why pensions, retirement plans and government stipends like social security exist is because many old people are not physically able to work anymore and have a huge range of medical conditions, all stemming from the frailty of aging, that need to be treated or, more likely, merely stanched and bailed out like a sinking ship.
A cure for aging would minimize these expenses, but now you have more people in the workforce who aren’t leaving any time soon. The age of retirement gets pushed back, and the retirement planning changes. There’s also the sociological impact of older people who continue living – lots these days have grandparents who are incredibly racist/bigoted. I don’t advocate the death of simply because, but there is something to be said for a generation passing the torch so we can evolve. Which also plays into health aspects, as an older generation is likely to be susceptible to something future generations might not.
There are some very serious implications to keeping people alive longer.