In this segment of my discussion with Michael Laufer, Chief Spokesperson and founding member of Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, we get at the various ways the for-profit healthcare system in the United States makes commonly needed medicines practically impossible to access for a wide swath of the population. "The main reasons for people being disenfranchised from medicines are: price, legality, and lack of infrastructure. Medicines like Solvadi which costs $80,000 for a course of treatment, is beyond the reach of most people. Mifepristone and Misoprostal are unavailable in many places where abortion is illegal. Antiretroviral HIV treatments even when provided free, have no way of getting to remote locations in 3rd world countries.” How can a non-hierarchal network like the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, composed of individuals from various backgrounds and specializations, provide the means for the disenfranchised to not only have access to, but also produce, pharmaceutical grade medications in order to maintain the health, and save the lives, of those effectively shut out of the for-profit healthcare system in the United States? I ask Michael to provide some examples of what the Collective has been able to provide, in particular the pharmaceutical grade medicines that the Apothecary MicroLab, designed by the Collective, can synthesize for anyone willing to go through with the production of these drugs on their own.
Dr. Michael Laufer a professor of Mathematics at Menlo College, and is Chief Spokesperson and founding member of Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, a volunteer network of anarchists and hackers developing DIY medical technologies outside of the dominant for-profit medical establishment. The Collective is responsible for designing the Apothecary Microlab, a DIY chemical reactor (made with a 3D printer) that can produce pharmaceutical grade drugs for a fraction of the cost, as well as the epinephrine injector dubbed the “EpiPencil” that can be constructed and used for a little over $30 (compared to the EpiPen, which is now around $300 per unit).
Learn more about Michael and the work of the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, at their website: https://fourthievesvinegar.org
This is a segment of episode #173 of Last Born In The Wilderness “Medicine For All: Open-Source DIY Pharmaceutical Production For The Masses w/ Michael Laufer.” Listen to the full episode: http://bit.ly/LBWlaufer