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A Heroin Vaccine?

Drug addiction is a terrible public health problem, and a terrible personal problem for anyone facing it. Giving addicts a better chance to break the drug-taking cycle would be a great benefit, but that’s been an elusive goal. There’s a possible biochemical solution that’s been proposed for years, though, that is recently getting more attention: vaccination.

At first thought, that might seem like a weird idea. Drugs of abuse, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine et al. are small molecules, and as such are too small to set off immune responses on their own. But a strategy could be to attach them to some larger protein that can raise antibodies – if those antibodies recognize the drug-labeled part of the protein conjugate, they may well retain activity against the drug molecule in its free state. There’s been a recent report in JACS on a heroin vaccine, from Kim Janda and co-workers at Scripps, that’s gotten a lot of media attention (as well it might). It uses just this sort of approach, but (as is so often the case with immunology), it’s taken a lot of work to get all the details right.

The vaccine has a tetanus toxoid core (as used in the well-known tetanus vaccine), with linkers coming off it that are attached to heroin molecules. Figuring out the right kinds of linkers (their chemistry, length, and flexibility) and the right loading of the core protein are nontrivial issues, as is the combination of this species with various adjuvants. Adjuvants are (to a chemist) the voodoo part of vaccine development. They’re additives (such as aluminum salts, squalene, or other substances) that increase the immune response, through mechanisms that are still not completely worked out, which means that there can be a lot of trial-and-error involved. This latest paper takes things from mice up to rhesus monkey studies, which are quite promising for human effects.

It’s been a long road. The first morphine immunoconjugate was described in 1970, and a morphine vaccine was tested in rabbits in 1975. But very little progress in the field occurred over the next twenty years or so, partly because methadone treatment for heroin addiction had become widely used. It’s interesting to note, though, that vaccine development work against amphetamine seems to have followed a roughly similar path – early reports in the 1970s followed by a drought, then renewed interest in the late 1990s and beyond, from the Owens group at Arkansas (who have also developed monoclonal antibodies as potential therapies) and from the Scripps group and others. I haven’t found any cocaine vaccine reports from the 1970s, but Janda has published a number of papers in that area, too. (Back in the opioid field, last year his group also published on a possible fentanyl vaccine as well).

It would seem that we really are getting close to human clinical trials for some of these, which will be quite interesting. A drug-abuse vaccine is not going to be magic, though. Because of the specificity of the immune response, someone who’s been vaccinated against heroin would almost certainly still respond to morphine, and most definitely would to compounds like fentanyl or oxycodone. It’s unclear how long the immune protection will last in humans (that is, how many booster shots would be needed), and that’s obviously going to vary from person to person no matter what (like everything else in immunology). But vaccines could, at the same time, provide the extra help needed for people to finally break free of a particular drug, and addicts who are really trying to quit need all the help that they can get.

I’d say that last part is the key. One of the big issues in drug addiction is (in the end) a philosophical argument about free will (which would explain why it never gets resolved!) Is drug addiction a disease, a choice, a behavior, a biochemical problem. . .the arguments go on forever, complicated by the way that different people attach different meanings to those terms. But it would seem clear that a desire to stop abusing drugs is a big part of the effort to stop abusing them. Otherwise, the person involved will probably just find new ways to go on abusing. I have no idea how to help anyone in that situation, but for people who’ve gotten on this awful treadmill (by whatever means) and want to get off, a drug vaccine might be a big step.

Update: see the comments. It looks like one of the cocaine vaccines has been into humans, with unspectacular results.

66 comments on “A Heroin Vaccine?”

  1. Billy says:

    Bremer et al. report a >15 fold reduction in heroin potency using the vaccine. If the underlying drive (addiction) of the user persists, wouldn’t he/she just seek more drug?

    1. db says:

      This was my concern upon reading of the concept of a vaccine. Wouldn’t it be extremely dangerous to essentially purposefully desensitize users to the drug of abuse, especially if resistance would wear off over time? That sounds to me like a built in tendency to overdose as time goes on.

      Secondly, couldn’t larger doses place great stress on the immune system, possibly to the point of overloading it?

    2. B says:

      Lets face it. People at tsri are stupid. They cant even imagine these theoretical problems..they just do do do like whatever they do has some magical intrinsic value.

    3. B says:

      But to awnswer your question..how about no dummy….if the best proof alcohol on the market was 3% ( 45% whiskey ÷ 15 ), my guess is your days getting blasted would be over. Unless the sadness is so great from being a tsri professor that you have to drown your sorrows regardless.

      1. ThomCat says:

        “If the best proof alcohol on the market was 3% ( 45% whiskey ÷ 15 ), my guess is your days getting blasted would be over.”

        I’m guessing you’ve never seen anyone blind drunk on 3.2 Budweiser? If you have a need for the substance, you will make sure to get enough of it…

        I see this as a helping hand for folks who wish to quit. Hope it’s a functional one.

        1. B says:

          Since when is budweiser 3. 2%?some light and Ultra light beers are that kiw, and yes, ive seen far fewer cases of people blacking out or needing their stomach pumped on those. And i have yet to see an all out homeless alchoholic that just drinks ultralight beer.

          1. MBP says:

            3.2 Bud is a special product available in places with long-standing blue laws (such as MN or UT). You can buy it at the gas station on Sundays when the liquor stores are closed, and people do indeed find a way to get blitzed on them.

          2. B says:

            MBP…thanks for the useless factoids. I think you missed my point that potency is strongly related to both abuse potential and danger.

        2. Teri says:

          Clearly some of the snarky remarks come from those who have not encounter a loved one that has such addiction. They crave the drug in their mind and when the vaccine is used, the high does not come. I think it would assist those that want to be clean.

  2. SP says:

    Is the idea an immune response that blocks the physiological activity of the drug (which as noted above can be overcome with higher dose) or something that triggers a negative response to make drug use unpleasant, e.g. antabuse?

    1. imarx says:

      Yeah, I’m confused about this as well. This wouldn’t affect the addictiveness of heroin in an individual or mitigate any symptoms of withdrawal, just make it more difficult to get high. What would motivate someone to get the vaccine?

      1. Barry says:

        It’s reported that many addicts swing from determining to get clean to relapsing and back. If it were effective, a vaccine could be taken in such a “get clean” phase, but would remain effective during the next relapse phase(s).

  3. Omar Stradella says:

    I’m not sure I see the point. It’s not that you are going to accidentally get exposed to a drug the same way that you get exposed to a virus, except for law enforcement agents. With the virus there’s no choice, although some infection prevention measures might help, With a drug, you have to actively seek it and take it. You can vaccinate children but unless immunity lasts for life or at least many years into adulthood, when immunity wanes down why would someone that’s willing to try drugs get a booster?

    1. SP says:

      In that sense you’d be looking for a vaccine to prevent accidental overdose- e.g. a fentanyl vaccine to prevent someone from who thought they were taking heroin from dying, or like the cop who touched some material so potent he ODed. If someone is seeking out a particular drug you can’t stop them, but most people don’t try to overdose- they underestimate the potency of a particular supply, or it’s laced with something more potent.

    2. Anon says:

      Its mentioned in other comments, but most people struggling with serious addiction issues go through a abuse -> rehab/detox -> relapse -> abuse cycle. Somebody in the middle of rehab would probably be willing to take a vaccine, which would hopefully last long enough to break out of the cycle (by dealing with the social factors contributing to abuse, or whatever else).

      1. NJBiologist says:

        Some (not all) drug abuse counselors talk about the first use in a relapse as a critical point for intervention. Under this theory, the patient uses once, decides they’re a user again, and resumes their previous pattern as if a light switch had been thrown. The idea is to do something–anything–to interfere with the “I got high, I guess I’m a user again” part of the process. (Getting out of the drug-addled social milieu is, unfortunately, not an option for all patients.)

  4. Barry says:

    If we expect the putative Ab to recognize the pharmacophore shared by heroin, codeine, oxycodone, fentanyl…are we confidant that it will spare endogenous opioids (endorphins and enkephalins)? Would we rely on the blood-brain barrier to exclude the antibody so that endogenous opioids in the CNS would be spared?

    1. Derek Lowe says:

      No, it looks like the antibodies raised would not have such broad coverage.

      1. tangent says:

        Combine this specificity with the likelihood the people will dose past the antibody, and it’s a deathtrap. Person has learned “at day 7 after vaccination, a heroin dose of 10x is effective” — but this time their ‘heroin’ is fentanyl in a bulking material. Overdose and death.

        If it’s actually specific to heroin over morphine, somebody could even die of street heroin that hasn’t been cooked to full acetylation.

    2. PJ Masks says:

      Not just endogenous opiates, what does it really block? Heroin is (almost entirely) morphine by the time it crosses the BBB and binds to opioid receptors, so the person who takes the vaccine cannot use morphine for pain? That also means no codeine. No hydrocodone? No mu agonists at all? I don’t like how that sounds.

      1. NJBiologist says:

        It looks like Janda hasn’t worked this out–and at any rate, the degree of cross-reactivity will vary from patient to patient. Each one is making their own polyclonal antisera, after all.

        Having said that, one of the early findings in antibody structure work is that the depth of the antibody binding pocket is inversely proportional to the size of the antigen. A small molecule hapten is likely to result in deeper binding pockets than a larger antigen, and this could well prevent binding of endogenous opioid peptides.

  5. Chrispy says:

    Sorry, but this ranks among the headline-grabbing utter silliness that is somehow encouraged in academia. Of course an addict could just dose higher to beat a vaccine response, and of course it would not work against opiates that are structurally distinct from heroin. Simple mass balance would tell you that you would need extremely tight binding antibodies in order to prevent a “buffering” phenomenon where the antibody simply extends the half life of heroin. And although you can jack up an immune response through conjugation and adjuvants, these elements will not be present during actual use, so you’d need regular boosters to keep up the response. We knew all of this before the study was even run, so why run the study? There are slow-release opioid antagonists (e.g. Vivitrol) which provide insight into how a blocking strategy can work — the answer is mixed because motivated users dose so high to get past the antagonist that overdose is common. Given the seriousness of the opiate crisis, it is galling that we devote money and effort to an approach which is so fundamentally flawed. Just looking over the JACS paper (full text available on SciHub) made me feel a little nauseous — these authors present the approach as a serious and successful preclinical study, when closer to reality is that they are wasting big dollars using non-human primates as so much window dressing. Yes, it looks serious, and it was an awful lot of work, but no amount of work will change the fact that it will not have a practical impact because the approach is doomed from the start.

    1. tangent says:

      Yes, any serious look at this has to look at Vivitrol, because this is not going to be any more effective, and in many ways less effective. I’m no expert in treatment of addiction, but it does not appear Vivitrol has revolutionized the field.

  6. Haggis says:

    If I recall correctly, a lot of early 2000s efforts were aimed at raising catalytic antibodies that would degrade the drug upon binding. This would (presumably) lower the peak serum drug concentration and thus lower the high, or perhaps block it completely. This would also overcome the molar advantage that a bolused drug might have against a merely blocking/sequestering antibody. So if you snort or inject and little or nothing happens, then *maybe* your addiction wanes…though this probably requires testing.

    I think the suggestion (above) that in the face of a blunted high users would just pursue a higher dose is an important one.

    1. dstar says:

      “So if you snort or inject and little or nothing happens, then *maybe* your addiction wanes…though this probably requires testing.”

      That’s probably the case, based on what I know of classical conditioning.

      Which leads to a drug treatment regime that to my knowledge has never been tried: drug addicts can get their drugs for _free_ from a local clinic. The catch is that there is an x% chance that what they get is only one half as strong as they expect. Every month. that chance goes up by y%. Every three months the normal dosage is reduced to the average dose they’ve gotten over the last six months.

      Once a year, you tell them what their average dosage has been over the last six months.

      Effectively you’re weaning them off of their drug, _without_ them knowing whether or not it’s happening. The ones who’re addicts because of circumstances will end up ceasing to be addicts; the ones who’re addicts by choice you can’t help anyway.

  7. Magrinho says:

    @Chrispy – thanks for writing pretty much exactly what I would have written. Headline grabbing is an MO that is the hallmark of KJ’s career.

    1. Derek Lowe says:

      He’s not the only one working in the field (although he probably is the biggest name)

  8. Christophe Verlinde says:

    In 2014 vaccination for cocaine dependence was evaluated in a double-blind trial. The results?
    “RESULTS:
    The 300 subjects (76% male, 72% African-American, mean age 46 years) had smoked cocaine on average for 13 days monthly at baseline. We hypothesized that retention might be better and positive urines lower for subjects with anti-cocaine IgG levels of ≥42 μg/mL (high IgG), which was attained by 67% of the 130 vaccine subjects receiving five vaccinations. Almost 3-times fewer high than low IgG subjects dropped out (7% vs 20%). Although for the full 16 weeks cocaine positive urine rates showed no significant difference between the three groups (placebo, high, low IgG), after week 8, more vaccinated than placebo subjects attained abstinence for at least two weeks of the trial (24% vs 18%), and the high IgG group had the most cocaine-free urines for the last 2 weeks of treatment (OR=3.02), but neither were significant. Injection site reactions of induration and tenderness differed between placebo and active vaccine, and the 29 serious adverse events did not lead to treatment related withdrawals, or deaths.”
    see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24793366
    Not very encouraging …

    1. Robert Drake says:

      As Barry pointed out smoked/insufflated drugs would not be such great targets. Which makes the cocaine study so strange, and it targeted free-base/crack users where the drug zips passed the immune system. If I were designing a drug vaccine trial to fail I don’t think I could pick a better target.

      1. Barry says:

        I think the attraction of cocaine was that ester linkage. That’s a pretty rare feature in drugs, easily targeted by a catalytic hydrolase. And of course there was money/attention to be had for targeting a drug in the news.

    2. NJBiologist says:

      Actually, that wasn’t even the first–Celtic Pharma Holdings walked away from their cocaine immunization program in 2006.

  9. Karen Tourian says:

    Addicts also have a great deal of ambivalence- they usually recognize that using is destructive, but also that using feels good and/or eliminates withdrawal symptoms (for opioids). They can want to stop and keep using at the same time.

  10. Diver Dude says:

    Your other problem is that heroin is not necessarily the only active moiety. Deactylation of heroin in the brain gives you 6monoacetyl morphine and then morphine itself. So your antibody binding is going to need to be fast enough and complete enough to block the initial absorption of heroin into the immune privileged CNS, otherwise you’ll just get high anyway. The potential variation in this part of the process, added to everything else, is likely to turn live addicts into dead addicts. Which solves the problem, I suppose, but I’m not sure it’s what was intended.

  11. Scadriel says:

    Maybe this is just anothdr complete unknown, but does somethibg like this have the potebtial to induce an allergy? I acquired a red meat allergy from a tick bite and it is thought to work on broadly similar principles (an innocuous but foreign sugar is mixed with some very noxious bug enzymes and makes the immune system wrongly target it).

  12. Barry says:

    As usual with antibodies, at best, they’ll be captive to the plasma compartment. That means that heroin insufflated or smoked would be unaffected.

    1. Diver Dude says:

      Still absorbed via the lungs or nasal mucosa into the plasma compartment, though. Direct injection into the brain would do it…

      I probably shouldn’t have written that.

      1. Barry says:

        “A recent research paper and two review papers on the method of transport and the animal studies conducted conclude that both small and large molecules can pass rapidly from the nose into the brain along olfactory nerves and into the brain and brain stem along branches of the first and second trigeminal nerve structures, without primarily passing via the CSF.3, 4, 5”

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652706/

        1. Diver Dude says:

          Interesting work, but you’re probably not going to get a large mass of drug into the brain via the vomero-nasal route. It seems to be optimized more for pheromones.

  13. DCM says:

    Im still holding out for a pot vaccine

    1. Patrick Sweetman says:

      Nobody has mentioned nicotine yet.

  14. D says:

    I’d really hate to get a painful illness later in life if I’ve been vaccinated against opiates.

  15. Lars says:

    Seems like something that coercion-happy politicians might be happy with. Those of us who are in the trenches would not like it at all. I mean, we’ve seen people “cleverly” put sugary stuff in people’s prescription opioids to prevent them from injecting them. Prescription meds! Those people still wound up injecting their drugs (now very unsuitable for that RoA), resulting in great harm. Fortunately, we got that practice stopped with reference to pharmacy licensing law.

    1. aairfccha says:

      See also “The Chemist’s War”.

      In related news: Drug prohibition is a crime against humanity.

  16. a says:

    to paraphrase Jean Anyon

    “Attempting to fix drug addiction with a molecule, without fixing the immiserated life in which the addict is usually embedded, is like trying to clean the air on one side of a screen door”

    1. aairfccha says:

      While you’re at it, end drug prohibition and a lot of the negative consequences ascribed to drugs vanish into thin air because they are generated or at least exacerbated by the same policy they are trotted out to justify.

    2. redfiona says:

      That’s a much more poetic way of saying what I was thinking. It’s the kind of thing that politicians love because it looks like they are doing something without spending the heap of time, money and effort it would take to fix the root causes of addiction.

  17. B says:

    TSRI…that glorious institution were they remove students from their Phd projects for no reason….give it to pfizer for massive deals with their companies..and then sue the students when they protest for being denied authorship using criminal charges. None..none..of that is an exageration i assure you.

  18. aairfccha says:

    Just give Heroin users access to their drug in medical quality -> most actual problems solved, you just have to cope with the hand-wringing moralists moaning and bitching.

    http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blog/heroin-assisted-treatment-switzerland-successfully-regulating-supply-and-use-high-risk-0
    “These positive outcomes have been reproduced in other countries that employ the Swiss-style HAT model. A 2012 review of these programmes by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) concluded that HAT treatment can lead to:12 ‘the “substantially improved” health and well-being of [participants]; “major reductions” in their continued use of illicit heroin; “major disengagement from criminal activities”, such as acquisitive crime to fund their drug use, and “marked improvements in social functioning” (e.g. stable housing, higher employment rate).’13 A 2011 review from the renowned Cochrane Collaboration – which is widely seen as providing ‘gold-standard’ reviews of healthcare evidence – came to similar conclusions.14

    Despite this evidence of effectiveness, there is limited availability of HAT even in the relatively small number of countries where it exists; it is only available under strict criteria, including long-term use and failure to respond to other treatment programmes. It is possible that the benefits of HAT could be extended if the barriers to access were lower. So far there has only been one study into this possibility, which found that, compared to OST, HAT produced no difference in health outcomes but did produce far greater reductions in illicit drug use.15”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2219559/
    “…the discussed studies above have demonstrated in several different contexts that the implementation of HAT is feasible, effective, and safe as a therapeutic intervention.21,24,26,30 This should not be seen as a conclusion that could be taken for granted because many observers expected disastrous consequences from the provision of medical heroin prescription.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroin-assisted_treatment

  19. MoMo says:

    How about a vaccine against reproductive germ cells for the Pharma Executives who used the Porter and Jicks paper to sell the American Medical Establishment the line that opiates weren’t addictive?

    They shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce.

    1. Mol Biologist says:

      Wouldn’t it be great if we do not have third party such as Pharma Executives involved in solving problems? A heroin vaccine or any others anti addiction vaccines will never work for same reason why cancer vaccines did not work. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1185554/
      Pathological metabolism should be corrected to reverse toward restoring of depleted energy resources. There is no other way around.

  20. Istvan Ujvary says:

    1) The same group who worked with rabbits described in a 1974-Nature paper changes in heroin self-administration by a rhesus monkey after morphine immunisation
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4474602
    2) There is a whole lotta chemical diversity of synthetic opioids. Opportunities for smart and greedy chemists (on the supplier side),

  21. Paul Bremer says:

    Many of the issues brought up in the comments were addressed in the discussion of the paper. Of course this vaccine is not a cure-all for substance abuse, and we are acutely aware of the limitations. However, we strongly believe that the vaccine will be helpful for certain individuals and is worth developing further. Below are a few responses:

    Although previous nicotine and cocaine vaccines have failed in clinical trials, they have demonstrated proof-of-concept that individuals who showed a strong response to the vaccines could gain protection from abuse-related effects of the drugs. Unfortunately, these vaccines did not undergo thorough preclinical development and in my opinion, were prematurely entered into clinical trials. In considering our recent study, we believe our vaccine would be more successful in humans than these previous vaccines.

    Vaccinated individuals can in fact overcome the vaccine by taking more drug, so this vaccine would not be effective in heavy drug users. I do believe people taking lower amounts of drug who are serious about quitting or maintaining abstinence could benefit from the vaccine because a normal drug dose would be fully blocked, thus preventing relapse.

    Depot naltrexone (Vivitrol) can be effective in treating opioid dependence (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16461865). In this clinical study, there was no observation of heroin users taking more drug to overcome the effect of the antagonist. I’d imagine the therapeutic effects would be similar for the heroin vaccine but with the major advantages of reduced adverse effects and longer duration of action. It should be noted that in our rat self-administration studies, heroin dependent rats extinguished their drug intake upon vaccination. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23650354

    The vaccine cannot ameliorate drug cravings or withdrawal symptoms, however its selectivity enables the administration of adjunct pharmacotherapies such as buprenorphine or methadone to relieve such symptoms. Yes, drug users could switch from heroin to fentanyl to avoid the vaccine, which is exactly why we are looking into combination vaccines to cover the most commonly abused opioids.

    1. Peter Gerdes says:

      Buprenorphine already has quite a strong antagonist effect so there would be little to no benefit to adding a heroin vaccine alongside it. It would be more effective to simply up the dose of buprenorphine. I believe a company is coming to market with a 6 month implantable buprenorphine dispensing system which is a much better solution to the duration issue. Presumably one could do something similar with nalaxone/naltrexone for longer durations for around (or less than) the costs of developing this kind of vaccine. Yes, there are some people with side effects from nalaxone but there are pretty damn few who both can’t handle nalaxone and wouldn’t be well served by buprenorphine.

      The biggest problem, however, is that the illegal opiate market is full of different varieties of opiate. Any commitment mechanism that can be circumvented just by saying “I’d like some oxy” rather than “give me some H” is a pretty shitty one.

      Don’t get me wrong. The approach is promising with other drugs of abuse. For instance amphetamine and methamphetamine are the only drugs in their class easily available on the illicit market and there is no useful antagonist that could be substituted for a vaccine. Its just this particular choice of heroin that is silly for drug abuse purposes.

    2. dstar says:

      “Yes, drug users could switch from heroin to fentanyl to avoid the vaccine, which is exactly why we are looking into combination vaccines to cover the most commonly abused opioids.”

      AAAAAANd you just moved from ‘decent idea, could have some problems’ to ‘kill this idea with fire’.

      Because people develop things like cancer and _need_ opiod pain relief. If it’s just one or two opiods that won’t work for them, that’s okay.

      If it’s a significant portion — which is the only thing that would make combination antibodies worth it — that is _not_ okay.

      Unless, of course, you’re saying that former (or current, for that matter) drug addicts don’t deserve pain relief, in which case, well….

  22. Scott says:

    Here’s my not-so-happy thought: John Doe gets immunized for Heroin. 5 years later, he’s still clean, but gets in a bad car accident, broken everythings, and the paramedics give him straight-up morphine sulphate for pain (as is typical for the EMTs, go straight for the biggest gun available, manage side effects till patient arrives at hospital).

    Except that the morphine doesn’t block the pain anymore.

    Sounds like a great development in medicine to me… [/sarcasm]

    1. Pennpenn says:

      “Because of the specificity of the immune response, someone who’s been vaccinated against heroin would almost certainly still respond to morphine, and most definitely would to compounds like fentanyl or oxycodone.” -Literally the article above.

      A lot of people seem to be missing that part. And I’m certain that’s something any kind of treatment along these lines would have to be tested for something so obvious before going to market. This concept may be flawed (if we’re being kind to it) but “makes morphine useless” isn’t going to be one that will become prevalent because it either won’t happen or it’d be the bullet in the back of the skull that ends the project.

      1. Scott says:

        “Almost certainly” is a nice weaselword for “we haven’t studied for that yet, but we don’t think it will happen.”

        Operative word there is “think”

        And I guarantee that some random 5yr-down-the-line stuff will sneak up on people, like what happened with Vioxx (stuff worked great on my pain, then it kills the heart, and we don’t find out the cardiac issues until the drug has hit the market?)

  23. David says:

    I understand the obvious desires here to combat drug addiction. As long as I’m not inoculated against something useful along with heroin. Vaccination against hydrocodone and fentanyl seems more problematic to me, because, sure, it’s a great idea…until I’m in a remote place and that’s all that’s available and it is necessary. Which is less likely to be an extreme case of necessity with pure pain fillers, but ketamine and other anaethesia, or sedative drugs could be a different story. Boy will a lot of people be displeased when their inoculation to heroin turns out to also make them immune to the effects of a very effective cancer or Alzheimers drug down the track….

  24. john says:

    Who is paying for this none of my money should go to people who are stupid and a waist of tax payer money if they can’t grow up let them die not my concern they made there decision

    1. Pennpenn says:

      Aren’t you a cheerful little sunbeam? Just overflowing with empathy and concern. That said, I’d rather “my money” (if you’re refering to tax, it’s not your money any more) going to find ways to help people kick destructive addictions rather than a lot of other things governments and companies are want to waste money on (like tax cuts for the already preposterously wealthy).

      1. john says:

        You are an idiot big pharm wants all are money

  25. johm says:

    They are addicts all they want is a bigger high so death Is the answer you moron look at what is happening you make your judgment for people who only do harm to them selfves and there faimiles why do they need to exist

  26. Thomas says:

    Works on monkeys. I’m not a monkey. You still have to prove to me we evolved for some sort of ape monkey.

    1. Pennpenn says:

      Well technically we are still “ape monkeys” since things that evolve are subsets of whatever parent species they derived from, so we’re still primates, and primates are still a subset of catarrhines (AKA old world monkeys). So yeah you are a monkey and so are we all (except the bots). Ook ook.

      That being said, even if evolution wasn’t a thing (it totally is a thing) monkeys are still very close to humans in terms of morphology so at least some level of comparison does work (hell, we test on mice, and even the dopiest Creationist would acknowledge we’re more simillar to monkeys than to mice).

      Also if you’re just trolling, I like answering questions when I can so yeah.

  27. Crickett says:

    You guys are arguing the wrong points here. If you want to keep banging H then your going to disregard the vaccine and keep doing you. But if your one of the people that messed up, got caught on the train ride heading to hell then its a godsend (if it works). So all of you worried that you wont be able to abuse your painkillers in the future because you fell down the stairs, just dont take it.

  28. Lars says:

    Well, some doctors are arguing that there is no such thing as a heroin overdose anymore. And that would make a heroin antibody useless.
    Link in name.

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