Michael Laufer: Open-Source DIY Pharmaceutical Grade Medicines For All

LBW: If you could give some examples of like medicines that you have produced using this, I think it’s your microlab medicines that you’ve worked on that have been really effective that that people can have access to now. MICHAEL LAUFER: So the things that we’re currently working on we’re trying to find the medicines that sort of need the most attention with things that have the greatest impact. and to which people seem to be blocked from access most often the Four five main ones that we’ve been focusing on. are sovaldi which I mentioned before there was daraprim which is the anti-parasitic drug that is works to cure toxoplasmosis there was the big hoopla over from Turing Pharmaceuticals and Martin Shkreli There is Mifepristone and Misoprostal which are the abortifacient drugs again a very old establish technology, but again one that people don’t have a lot of access to in a lot of places. And then on top of that there’s naloxone which is again, another very well-established very very safe technology that interrupts opiate overdose and reverses it. But again is very hard to get. Especially for the people who need it. and additionally we’re working on trying to proliferate some of the HIV antiretrovirals that are more effective but harder to get So. LBW. Okay. Yeah, those are some obviously things that people are like in immediate need of and and if you were to compare say the price of an EpiPen to the EpiPencil or ay any other drugs that you just mentioned just now, what would be the variable that like the difference between these prices? MICHAEL LAUFER: Yes, so the EpiPen/EpiPecil comparison is a good one because it’s very concrete so a pair of EpiPens go for about $600 US. And they have a shelf life of 18 months. The EpiPencil you can build from scratch for just over $30. But you can reload it for $3. Now it’s shelf life is significantly shorter at 3 months, but reloading something for $3 every 3 months rather than reloading something for $300 of 18 months is a significant difference still an order of magnitude larger and it’s it’s it’s amazing because that particular project we didn’t even plan on doing it. It was blowing up with [?]. People were contacting us through the web page and say why aren’t you doing something about the EpiPen why aren’t you doing something about the EpiPencil? We’re trying to do chemistry, we don’t really do medical hardware. It’s kind of not our thing and people said it should be. Because this is what you stand for. You should be doing it. And so there was a discussion. And we all sort of threw it around and said, well, I know we’re in the middle of a lot of other things but she’s maybe put that on hold and work on this and everybody said yes, let’s let’s just do this so we went looking for What are the gap was and we looked into the chemistry of epinephrine and we realize that’s not the gap at all. You can get epinephrine in any any pharmacy anywhere. If you have a prescription. And it cost you a dollar. Roughly And so it was suddenly this moment of scratching our heads saying so why is this damn thing so expensive? That’s so weird, and it was just that they have a corner on the market. and the intellectual property of owning the patents to that particular auto-injector. And so we said that’s silly let’s just find another auto-injector and and hijacked the technology and load it with the something else. The thing that’s very odd is that despite what we expected there aren’t many auto-injectors out there. There is a there’s a glucagen pain for diabetics, but that doesn’t use a syringe that uses a little sack that holds the glucagen And then the only other ones that we found were antidotes to certain chemical warfare agents that the U.S. and the Israeli military use and so those are of course are not accessible either and so we were poking around saying there has go to be a way to do this. There’s one company that sells a reloadable auto-injector that’s designed for needle phobic diabetics. And he said I look great let’s just use this. The problem then is of course Diabetic syringes are very very thin and have a very small needle and this isn’t a terrible problem because the amount of epinephrine that you need you inject is very small it’s roughly a third of a milliliter, 3/10ths but it’s an intramuscular so you need a fairly fat needle and so most of our sort of researched time was spent trying to find a way to mate a very large needle with a very small syringe and we finally found there’s a very simple way to get them to play nice together and then you go out and buy some needles you buy some syringes and and everything fits together. LBW: Wow. Yeah, you just put that together and I’m sure that people are very grateful. that you guys put that together. MICHAEL LAUFER: I hope so. I’ve heard sort of peripheral stories people using them. So it’s nice to hear that it’s out there. That people are doing well.

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