This week, Roqayah and Kumars discuss one of the ways that people are fighting the rising costs of insulin. The cast is joined by Anthony DiFranco and Yann Huon de Kermadec, of the Open Insulin Project which is developing a cheap, easy, and open-source protocol for insulin production. Anthony, founder of the Open Insulin Project and boardmember of Counter Culture Labs in the Bay Area, explains how deeply the American healthcare apparatus has failed people, and describes his own experience living with Type-1 Diabetes. Yann, a French protein biochemist working on the project, gives listeners the scientific background necessary to understand the basics of what insulin is, and why their project is so important for diabetics and their families around the world.
We talk about horrific cases of people dying while being forced to crowdfund for their supplies and trying to make their insulin last, and how the pharmaceutical industry has taken a life-saving drug—with a patent sold for $1 in 1923—and turned it into a oligopoly dominated by three companies (Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Sanofi) that charges patients hundreds of dollars for what they literally cannot survive without. We discuss the possibilities and limitations of open-source, crowd-funded citizen science for addressing the global healthcare crisis, and give ways for people to get involved in the fight for open-source insulin.
You can follow the project on twitter at @OpenInsulin. You can also read more about the initiative on their website.
A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.
If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!