Medical Innovator Spreads Awareness About Pioneering Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment

Jim CaplanJim Caplan (Submitted Image)

BRYN MAWR, PA — James Caplan, a businessman and medical thinker, has introduced and developed a ground-breaking treatment for sickle cell disease, detailed at This platform raises awareness about the unique ozone-based treatment for the condition that Caplan has shepherded for more than 30 years.

The need for better understanding of sickle cell disease is great. In an era when attention is being directed to disparities in healthcare for Black and brown people, sickle cell crises remain painful and unavoidable. Caplan’s method also enables SSA to be treated prophylactically so that Black sufferers do not go into crisis (see below).

Sickle cell disease impacts about 100,000 Black persons in the U.S.A., and over a million in West Africa. Plus, one in thirteen Black Children are born with the Sickle Cell Trait, which can cause extreme fatigue. SSA causes a domino effect of other health problems, from disruptions in vision to the risk of infections and stroke. The only known cures are expensive and risky stem cell or bone marrow transplants in their experimental stage, but only a small number of SSA sufferers will be able to endure the preparation and application of such procedures.

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In comes ozone-based therapy: Caplan discovered this alternative to gene therapies, finding that ozone/oxygen infusion can safely raise oxygen partial by some 30% in three minutes with no increase in methemoglobin, thus countering the cause of the Sickle Cell Crisis — that is, a fall in oxygen partial pressure below 44mgHg. Caplan has presented this work to leading medical figures in the U.S., but it has not been embraced by a U.S. system supported by the profit-driven pharmaceutical industry. After introducing this method in Cuba, travelling on a Czechoslovak visa in 1990, Caplan and his Cuban colleague completed successful human clinical trials, such that the Caplan Method was and is still approved for human treatment in Cuba. There are 5.5 million Black persons in Cuba out of a population of 11,000,000.

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In the USA, due to the actions of Dr. Marlene Haffner, Caplan’s technique was awarded the FDA’s Orphan Drug Designation in 1992. However, he still did not find interest from mainstream American medical institutions. Sensing there wasn’t an appetite to support this life-saving research, Caplan says, “I feared that Black Lives did not matter sufficiently in 1993 to capture the interest of the U.S. medical establishment.” Has America now changed?

Today, he welcomes the chance for his method to go through proper clinical trials. Caplan was advised in 1992 that he would be able to get a minimum of some $3,000,000 in funding from the Orphan Drug division of the U.S. FDA if a medical institution would agree to replicate the Cuban protocols.

In the 1960s, Caplan headed the “ad hoc Committee for Student Freedom” at Penn State, fighting for women’s rights and Civil Rights. He studied with Prof. Karl Popper at the London School of Economics and was in the same small graduate class of Professor James Tobin, along with Janet Yellen at Yale University. They studied the early development of economic algorithms.

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