Mac Mcleod
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https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/09/20/055225/hackers-o...

Quote:
After the pharmaceutical company Mylan raised the price of a 2-pen set of EpiPens by nearly $500 over the course of 9 years, Michael Laufer and his "pharma-hacking confederates at the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective," decided to make their own budget-friendly EpiPens. IEEE Spectrum reports:
Today they released a video and instructions showing DIYers how to make a generic EpiPen using materials that can be bought online for about $30. They call it the EpiPencil. "It functions just as well as an EpiPen," Laufer says in the video, after demonstrating the assembly and showing that it works. "With no special training, anybody can use it." An EpiPen is just a spring-loaded syringe filled with the pharmaceutical epinephrine. Laufer's video shows how to assemble the "open source medical device" and provides links for where to buy the components online. He stops short of telling viewers how to get their hands on the drug, noting that you need a prescription for it. But Laufer tells IEEE Spectrum in an interview that it's easy to buy epinephrine online from a chemical supplier, and he hopes viewers will do just that. "There's a small but hopefully growing subculture of people who are buying the active ingredients of drugs," he says. "It's encouraging to see people take control of their own health."
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Mac Mcleod
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bjlillo wrote:
Here's where over-regulation gets us, people making their own medical devices.


What period of patent and copyright protection do you support?
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J
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A vial of epinephrine and a small syringe works just as well, if not better, and costs even less.
 
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Chad
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jmilum wrote:
A vial of epinephrine and a small syringe works just as well, if not better, and costs even less.


but requires more training and time - both of which could be in short supply when anaphlactic shock is occurring.

edit - fixing english
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bjlillo wrote:
Here's where over-regulation gets us, people making their own medical devices.


Even as fan of medical regulation, it's impossible not to concede this point on this issue.

I'd prefer homeopathy be illegal; there's a line that can be drawn without artificially creating monopolies, and we're obviously well past it.
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Michael Carter
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Utrecht wrote:
jmilum wrote:
A vial of epinephrine and a small syringe works just as well, if not better, and costs even less.


but requires more training and time - both of which could be in short supply when anaphlactic shock is occurring.

edit - fixing english


Yep, better hope you have a steady hand while in anaphlactic shock because too much can send your heart into v-tach.
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Mac Mcleod
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jmilum wrote:
A vial of epinephrine and a small syringe works just as well, if not better, and costs even less.


If it were that easy, there would be no demand for epipens.

I can't give my self shots. I can push the plunger once the needle is in my body but my arm freezes (it's the damndest thing) when I try to stick the needle in. Fortunately I have a friend who can stick the needle in (but can't push the plunger).

But, I can take blood samples because I push a button and then the device pushes the needle into my arm or finger.

If I had a device that let me push a button, I could give myself shots.

And of course, I'm not having a severe allergic reaction while trying to do this.
 
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Agent J
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My friend in Wisconsin works at a facility where they make Epipens. They don't own the patent or anything, they just make the plastic parts.
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Walt
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maxo-texas wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Here's where over-regulation gets us, people making their own medical devices.

What period of patent and copyright protection do you support?

It's not a matter of IP protection, but of FDA medical device approval. It's much the same case type-certifying an aircraft with the FAA. Every time someone dies, the attitude is to pass another law so politicians and bureaucrats can be seen "doing something."

It's Our Beloved Congress's job to keep this balanced, but they can't even keep themselves balanced.

Another issue is that you can't just set up Epipen manufacturing overnight. That means Mylan can just lower their price to put a new company out of business, or at least make setting up the manufacturing uneconomic compared to other investments the other company could make. The free market is great when it works, but boundary conditions that deny some aspect of freedom upset it: setting up a competing autoinjector factory is very much not free; people whose lives depend on autoinjectors are not free to say, "That's too expensive. I won't buy it."

The Libertarian view looks attractive, until you remember: cocaine in soda and patent medicines; Takata airbags; Bhopal; Chernobyl; Fukashima; West, Texas; Deepwater Horizon.... The list is endless: someone is always willing to cut a corner for a little more profit, or just because they're human. "We just want to run this little power test at Chernobyl. What could go wяong?"
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Tom McVey
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Tall_Walt wrote:

The Libertarian view looks attractive, until you remember: cocaine in soda and patent medicines; Takata airbags; Bhopal; Chernobyl;


Sorry, it is beyond ridiculous to blame Chernobyl on the free market, and for Bhopal it's pretty tenuous as well, given the limits on the control of Union Carbide India by Union Carbide Corporation that were imposed by the Indian government. The design team at UCC recommended that the MIC inventory be split into multiple tanks: this recommendation was not followed by Union Carbide India.
 
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Walt
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tmcvey wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
The Libertarian view looks attractive, until you remember: cocaine in soda and patent medicines; Takata airbags; Bhopal; Chernobyl;

Sorry, it is beyond ridiculous to blame Chernobyl on the free market, and for Bhopal it's pretty tenuous as well, given the limits on the control of Union Carbide India by Union Carbide Corporation that were imposed by the Indian government. The design team at UCC recommended that the MIC inventory be split into multiple tanks: this recommendation was not followed by Union Carbide India.

I said "Libertarian" not "Free Market". How does the Libertarian view that if we just remove all regulations everyone will do the right thing work to prevent or even lower the probability of any of these things?
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