Repurposed medications

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While aspirin is the most well known repurposed medication and has as a result saved many lives, actually a large number of medications, particularly herbal extracts have been repurposed once their actions were more fully understood. Repurposing in the heavily regulated and commercialised human pharmacology sector is however full of potential pitfalls. If the drug is under patent the patent holder may not see commercial benefit in repurposing. Indeed if they do so they may only see commercial sense if as a result their patent rights are extended. This has happened with for example pregabalin where although a generic product is available the original patented product is the only form licensed in the EU for treating neuropathic pain. For drugs out of patent, use is often out of license and there is often little incentive for full clinical trials.

Other potential or actual repurposed drugs as of 2015 include[1]:


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