Bio Hackers versus Big Pharma: Tackling the Rising Cost of Insulin

As the cost of insulin continues to skyrocket patients are dying from trying to ration their medication. It’s an extreme example, but not unusual – the cost of insulin mirrors the broader health crisis in the United States. Medicine is too expensive and inaccessible. And as insurance companies continue to raise prices, more and more people are put at risk, especially if they’re uninsured, or under-insured. Today, we look at ways to combat the health costs associated with diabetes. First, we hear from a woman living with diabetes about her experience using insulin. Then, we visit a group of community scientists called the Open Insulin Project, an organization trying to create its own insulin outside the lengthy FDA process and whether it’s worth the associated risks. And we talk about the benefits of Medicare for All, a policy which would get rid of private insurance and make all medicine and medical care accessible and affordable.


Ana Malinow, former president Physicians for a National Health Program. Aura Aparicio, Bay Area resident with Type 1 diabetes. Anthony DiFranco, founder of Counter Culture Labs and the Open Insulin Project. Yann Huon De Kermadec, Ph.D., lead scientist of the Open Insulin Project and Counter Culture Labs. Jessica Ching, member of Open Insulin Project, organizer of the DIY Artificial Pancreas MeetUp for the Bay Area. Amy Tenderich, blogger, founder of, Brian Roberts, adult endocrinologist and head of clinical development at Rezolute Bio. Jean Peccoud, professor of chemical and biological engineering at Colorado State University. Jenna Gallegos, post-doctoral researcher in the Peccoud Lab at Colorado State University.


Reporter: Kristi Coale
Producer and Host: Salima Hamirani
Staff Producers: Anita Johnson, Monica Lopez, Salima Hamirani

Executive Director: Lisa Rudman

Audience Engagement Manager: Dylan Heuer
Associate Producer: Aysha Choudary

Share This Episode