The Open Insulin Project (OIP) could be the biggest change in medical science since insulin was discovered in 1921. The non-profit organization will share the details of its insulin-making process through an open-source model, making the drug available to everyone who needs it and ending capitalism’s hold on medical production by pharmaceutical companies in one fell swoop. Here’s how it could work.
What is Open Insulin
The Open Insulin Project is an open-source initiative dedicated to accelerating access to insulin for people with diabetes worldwide. It was founded in 2016 by Ethan Perlstein, a Ph.D. student at Stanford University with Type 1 diabetes. The project’s first step is a database of every insulin molecule ever made, which can be freely accessed by scientists around the world in order to develop better and more affordable treatments for diabetes.
How Does Open Insulin Work
Open Insulin works in a similar way to regular insulin, with one significant difference: instead of using animal or human cells to produce insulin, it uses common bacteria. This means that as long as there is access to glucose and oxygen, anyone can make insulin. Many diseases (including Type 1 diabetes) are caused by a single faulty gene; why shouldn’t everyone have affordable access to their own customized treatment plan? It makes sense from an ethical standpoint, but also from an economic perspective: if you think about all of these people who currently rely on complicated machines they have to inject themselves with several times a day just so they don’t die—that’s millions of dollars worth of profit for Big Pharma each year!
Is Open Medicine Actually Good For Everyone?
Technically, open source is a development model, where people from all over can collaborate on a project in real-time. But we could also apply that model to medicine: Why not make drugs open source? That’s what the Team is working on at The Open Insulin Project. They believe that pharmaceutical companies and their shareholders are standing in between patients and their life-saving insulin. By making insulin available for anyone to use for nearly free, it would be a small step towards ending the capitalist healthcare model as we know it—and building something new.
What’s Holding Us Back From Universal Access to Medicine?
Universal access to medicine is a goal that everyone supports. But in order to achieve it, we have to radically change our current system, which places profit over patients and treats life-saving medications as commodities that can be sold at exorbitant prices. The open-source insulin project is just one example of how people are working toward real progress.
How Can We Get There Faster?
The open-source movement has been a boon to technology—think about all those free and open-source software packages out there. The same could happen in medicine, which is why we need more non-profit organizations like GOOpen to bring big data together. And as for the rest of us – we have to get our politicians under control and sway them away from taking the money from ever-powerful Big Pharma lobbyists, so call your representatives today and genuinely ask them what is their stand on making healthcare available to all, no matter of how much money they’ve got in their pockets.