A group of biohackers has created an “open source” site for small-scale production of insulin.
Everyone needs it to survive, and for people with diabetes, receiving regular infusions of the drug is literally a matter of life or death.
Scientists and doctors have known how to produce insulin for nearly a century, yet prices remain high — often $400 or more per month for the uninsured.
In the United States alone, more than 29 million people with diabetes can’t afford the drug, according to a 2015 report from NPR.
Not being able to afford the drug means medical complications or worse.
Such was the case of Shane Patrick Boyle, a person with type 2 diabetes who died after his GoFundMe page for “a month’s worth of insulin” supply fell short of its goal.
Enter the Open Insulin Project.
This group of San Francisco Bay Area biohackers is trying to reduce the cost of insulin by developing a protocol for its production on the micro scale.