So what is the best medication in the world? We often hear of “miracle” drugs on the news that can cure diseases that were once thought to be incurable. An example of this would be certain monoclonal antibodies targeting specific cancers. What was once incurable has been shown to be treatable. Although these drugs truly are “miracle” drugs, I do not consider them to be the best medicine in the world simply because they are too expensive and target a very narrow population. My criteria for the best medicine in the world is one that almost everyone can afford, that when used, will dramatically reduce morbidity and mortality of the vast majority of the population. The winner is clearly aspirin: this “boring” medicine that is so cheap and prevalent that no one bothers to look at it on the drugstore shelf has been proven time and again to have strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It plays a significant role in delaying the progression of many types of disease– most importantly cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. It has also recently been shown to reduce the incidence of many types of cancers. The main side effect is stomach upset especially if you have peptic ulcer disease. I usually recommend my healthy patients to start taking a “baby” aspirin (81mg) daily starting at age 40.