Nonprofit drugs as the salvation of the world's healthcare systems: the case of Antabuse (disulfiram)

Drug Discov Today. 2012 May;17(9-10):409-12. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2011.12.010. Epub 2011 Dec 16.


The effort to repurpose old drugs for new uses is not sufficient; even drugs that have been used clinically for decades must undergo expensive clinical trials. This process requires the pharmaceutical industry to fund the repatenting of old drugs. Because inexpensive drugs are necessary for people around the world, attempts should be made to develop nonprofit drugs through clinical trials of generic drugs that are funded by governments and charities. Evidence supports the use the old anti-alcoholic drug Antabuse as a new nonprofit drug for cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Deterrents / therapeutic use*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Disulfiram / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Industry / economics*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Organizations, Nonprofit*
  • Patents as Topic


  • Alcohol Deterrents
  • Disulfiram