r/news Jan 14 '22 Evil Cackle 3 Silver 19 Gold 1 Helpful 19 Wholesome 18

Shkreli ordered to return $64M, is barred from drug industry


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u/[deleted] Jan 14 '22

Insulin should have a co-pay of about $2. Or less.


u/TittyMcNippleFondler Jan 14 '22

But how would they make money after all the expenses related to research and development that were funded by grants that were funded by our tax dollars?


u/Gingorthedestroyer Jan 14 '22

When inventor Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1923, he refused to put his name on the patent. He felt it was unethical for a doctor to profit from a discovery that would save lives. Banting’s co-inventors, James Collip and Charles Best, sold the insulin patent to the University of Toronto for a mere $1. They wanted everyone who needed their medication to be able to afford it.


u/Red_AtNight Jan 15 '22

It's worth pointing out that Banting's method was to extract insulin from a dog's pancreas. It worked, but it wasn't very efficient. For about 50 years, all commercial insulin came from cows and pigs from slaughterhouses... similar issues to dog pancreas, and because it came from non-human animals, it had a risk of causing allergic reactions. That was the state of things until 1978 when synthetic insulin was first invented.

Basically all of the insulin that humans use nowadays is produced synthetically, through processes that are patented, and are not the process that Banting and Best developed in 1923. They work a hell of a lot better, but that's why insulin is still expensive despite Banting and Best selling their patent.