Ep. 18 - Homebrew Healthcare with Michael Laufer

In this installment of the Future Grind podcast, host Ryan O’Shea is joined by Michael Laufer. Michael is a mathematician and university professor who has turned his attention to do-it-yourself pharmaceuticals, creating and disseminating open-source plans for low-cost alternatives to expensive medical treatment. He is the chief spokesperson for the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, and he received a lot of media attention in 2016 after creating a $30 DIY alternative to the EpiPen, which is 10x cheaper than they could be purchased for. His work has been featured by Scientific American, IEEE, Vice, CNN, and more. We discuss the future of healthcare, information as power, and subversion.

It’s time once again for your frequent disclaimer that the thoughts of the guests on this podcast do not necessarily reflect the views of Future Grind or Ryan O'Shea. Also, a word of warning. In this episode, we discuss the production and potential use of home-made pharmaceuticals. Ingesting any of these compounds should be considered extremely dangerous, and things can go wrong. I advise consulting with a trained medical doctor and seeking expert opinions before taking your healthcare into your own hands.

We're posting in two forms, an audio podcast and a video podcast. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, DTube channel, and iTunes feed as we have some exclusive content that is not posted on both channels. You can also find us on Facebook.

Show Notes

  • Open-source pharmaceuticals from the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective [2:13]
  • The bubonic origins of Four Thieves Vinegar [2:47]
  • The secretive members of the collective [4:27]
  • Math, high energy physics, & birth control [6:29]
  • Dr. Michael Laufer, self-teaching, & scientific papers [9:19]
  • A $30 alternative to the $300+ EpiPen [10:21]
  • NurdRage, YouTube, liability, & disclaimers [13:12]
  • Should we assume everyone is/can be rational? [15:00]
  • Psychology, manipulation, & the issue of free will [17:17]
  • An open-source lab reactor for $100 [18:00]
  • Shkreli’s cell phone number, atomic secrets, & theatrics [20:22]
  • Handing out homemade drugs on stage [21:37]
  • Breaking laws & run ins with regulators & law enforcement [23:57]
  • Nuclear weapons & stewardship of information [26:24]
  • Difference between do-it-yourself and recklessness [34:18]
  • Human enhancement [39:00]
  • The beauty of math [41:22]
  • The future of, & elimination of, “citizen” science [43:53]
  • The importance of trying stuff [45:39]
  • How to get involved [48:36]


Four thieves vinegar
Mylan's EpiPen
NurdRage's EpiPencil video
Martin Shkreli
HOPE conference
- Michael's HOPE talk

Please like, comment, rate, and share this podcast to spread the word. Ryan O'Shea is on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook, and we'd love to hear what you thought and what you want to see going forward.

If you have any questions or are interested in supporting or advertising with Future Grind, you can reach us at hello@futuregrind.org.

Future Grind, 2018.
All rights reserved.