Anti-Addiction Vaccines: Big Profits for Drugmakers, Big Questions for Patients

Martha Rosenberg

In its 2016 to 2020 strategic plan,  the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), promoted the promise of “anti-addiction vaccines “aimed at eliciting antibodies that block the effects of a specific drug.”

The quest for an anti-addiction vaccine began in earnest when Drs. Nora D. Volkow, NIDA director, and Francis S. Collins, then-NIH director, called on scientists and industry to help develop vaccines specific against opioids …

How exactly do anti-addiction vaccines work?

… the vaccine “would stimulate a person’s immune system to produce antibodies that” … “would shut down the narcotic before it could take root in the body, or in the brain …

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