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  1. #1

    Biohackers are attempting to make their own insulin

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    Type 1 diabetes means that your body doesn’t produce insulin, a hormone needed to transform sugar into energy. That means you have to inject insulin or risk devastating health complications.

    Unfortunately, the skyrocketing cost of insulin in the U.S. has made affording it difficult, if not impossible, for many.

    That situation has led to the creation of the Open Insulin Project, a team of Bay Area biohackers’ attempt to take on Big Pharma by making their own insulin — a project that could literally be a matter of life or death.

    So far, the Open Insulin Project has managed to genetically engineer yeast cells to produce an insulin precursor. If it’s able to perfect the next steps in the process, the group plans to publish a DIY handbook others could use to create their own insulin.

    “You don’t require much in terms of equipment or labor to produce quite a substantial amount of insulin,” Anthony Di Franco, the group’s founder, recently told Deutsche Welle. “In the corner of a room you could make enough for 50,000 to 100,000 people.”

    Still, the process of making insulin might seem simple, but that doesn’t make using homemade insulin safe.

    “Manufacturing pharmaceuticals is difficult, painstaking, and dangerous,” Stanford University professor Hank Greely told DW. “If you get the dosing or the strength on insulin wrong, it’s death. If you let contaminants into the insulin, it’s possible death. If your insulin breaks down too quickly in storage, it’s death.”
    Should people be permitted to make their own experimental pharmaceuticals?

  2. #2
    Over 9000! rhorle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techno-Druid View Post
    Should people be permitted to make their own experimental pharmaceuticals?
    Why is that even a question? The only reason pharmaceuticals exist is because someone made their own. It shouldn't matter if it is a startup or an established company. In order for them to legally sell it they would need to get FDA approval. So it is really a non-issue. If they self test and die that was their choice.
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  3. #3
    Scarab Lord bungeebungee's Avatar
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    “Manufacturing pharmaceuticals is difficult, painstaking, and dangerous,” Stanford University professor Hank Greely told DW. “If you get the dosing or the strength on insulin wrong, it’s death. If you let contaminants into the insulin, it’s possible death. If your insulin breaks down too quickly in storage, it’s death.”
    Missing from the quote is the part that would read something like this: "Of course, if you are Type 1 diabetic and can't afford insulin, not taking any at all is probably an early death and trying to juggle inadequate dosing could lead to losing body parts before possibly reaching death. So, it really comes down to which risk of death we expect people to accept."

    To answer the question posed, they shouldn't be in that situation in the first place and in many parts of the world they aren't. Pricing in the US creates this mess. If the choice is bungeebungee or death by bungeebungee -- I mean risking homebrew vs not getting necessary medical care -- homebrew is probably the better option.
    Last edited by bungeebungee; 2019-05-30 at 04:19 AM. Reason: missing punctuation
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Techno-Druid View Post
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    Should people be permitted to make their own experimental pharmaceuticals?
    No. Too many safety hazards. Thats the reason the FDA was created.

    Also seeing a lot of misinformation about the price of insulin in the US. A lot of fearmongering going on, although I know people enjoy that. Especially you left wing types.

    A 1000 unit vial of insulin regular, NPH or 70/30 costs $24.88 at Walmart -- go look it up. Its over the counter, no prescription needed. If you had a diabetic who used 20 units per day, thats a cost of roughly 50 cents per day for the drug.

    And this would be for a patient without insurance.

    Although that cost adds up over time, lets not pretend that most people are having to sell everything they own and eat nothing but ramen to be able to afford insulin. Many people can afford it just fine.

  5. #5
    Well we are trying to make working organs and shit, what’s wrong here?

  6. #6
    You wouldn’t be able to sell them reliably without the FDA’s approval, otherwise they’d be no better than weight loss supplements and the like. I don’t think it’s illegal to make the insulin but without proper protocols I’d imagine it’s more than illegal to sell any makeshift drug.

  7. #7
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    We could also just not let big pharma get away with murder and actually regulate drug prices like the rest of the developed world.

  8. #8
    I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years, I was hoping there would be a cure by now.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tidestorm View Post
    Also seeing a lot of misinformation about the price of insulin in the US. A lot of fearmongering going on, although I know people enjoy that. Especially you left wing types.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by psiko74 View Post
    I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years, I was hoping there would be a cure by now.
    There probably IS a cure for diabetes and other medical issues, but once something is cured, the money stops.

    Big pharma and hospitals make billions every year off of sick people, on top of all the money they get for "research", curing things takes away their profit.

  11. #11
    Bloodsail Admiral clinophobia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tidestorm View Post
    No. Too many safety hazards. Thats the reason the FDA was created.
    The same FDA is trying to ban flavor in vapes because of dem kidz but not flavor in alcohol etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by Netherweave Cloth View Post
    There probably IS a cure for diabetes and other medical issues, but once something is cured, the money stops.
    We see it in the vape market and how they trying to ban stuff there because big tobacco is losing money.
    Last edited by clinophobia; 2019-05-30 at 06:14 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Netherweave Cloth View Post
    There probably IS a cure for diabetes and other medical issues, but once something is cured, the money stops.

    Big pharma and hospitals make billions every year off of sick people, on top of all the money they get for "research", curing things takes away their profit.
    This is incredibly ignorant. The only reason you have any treatment options at all is because of research. The medical industry also develops many "cures": antibiotics, vaccines, etc.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techno-Druid View Post
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    Should people be permitted to make their own experimental pharmaceuticals?
    It's becoming legal in some states in the US. Hopefully nationwide soon.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bungeebungee View Post
    Missing from the quote is the part that would read something like this: "Of course, if you are Type 1 diabetic and can't afford insulin, not taking any at all is probably an early death and trying to juggle inadequate dosing could lead to losing body parts before possibly reaching death. So, it really comes down to which risk of death we expect people to accept."

    To answer the question posed, they shouldn't be in that situation in the first place and in many parts of the world they aren't. Pricing in the US creates this mess. If the choice is bungeebungee or death by bungeebungee -- I mean risking homebrew vs not getting necessary medical care -- homebrew is probably the better option.
    There is the risk that some people who could afford it might try to homebrew it to save on costs.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Techno-Druid View Post
    (Source)

    Should people be permitted to make their own experimental pharmaceuticals?
    If someone wants to experiment on themselves...fine.

    If someone wants to experiment on their children... not so fine. There may be some room there for exceptions to be made...but as a general rule...no...people should not be injecting their children with homebrewed pharmaceuticals.
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  16. #16
    Scarab Lord bungeebungee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymrohd
    There is the risk that some people who could afford it might try to homebrew it to save on costs.
    I agree, that's why I said that the situation should not even exist. I suppose that there will always be some people who think that homebrew is somehow more natural, just plain cool, or whatever, but that such a movement exists and seems to have support suggests to me that there is a price issue for some. Then again, I don't understand anti-vaxxers either.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Tidestorm View Post
    eat nothing but ramen
    Well, there's the problem.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bungeebungee View Post
    Then again, I don't understand anti-vaxxers either.
    Trying to understand stupidity is futile.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tidestorm View Post

    Also seeing a lot of misinformation about the price of insulin in the US. A lot of fearmongering going on, although I know people enjoy that. Especially you left wing types..
    LMAO the conservative party is literally built on a foundation of fear mongering and paranoia what are you even..?
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Techno-Druid View Post
    (Source)

    Should people be permitted to make their own experimental pharmaceuticals?
    No, but people also shouldn't be permitted to make obscene profits off the sick either. Yet, here we are...

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