New drug may heal liver

Good news for alcoholics with liver disease:

SCIENTISTS have discovered a drug that they predict could prevent liver disease, even in alcoholics.

Tests on the drug, which is already used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, found that it prevented scarring of the liver and even reversed liver damage.

Christopher Day, a liver specialist from Newcastle University in Britain who led the research, said sulphasalazine could provide an alternative to liver transplants.

…and some revealing statements about the state of stigmatization of addicts and alcoholics in the medical professions:

“This drug is not a finite resource. You are not stealing [emphasis added] it from someone else, which is always a worry in public opinion,” Professor Day said. “People are dying on the transplant list.”

and

Sulphasalazine may also relieve the ethical dilemma of giving donated livers to people whose illness was self-inflicted through excessive consumption of alcohol or poor diet and obesity.