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  •  good ideas; and how to start... (0+ / 0-)

    Re. funding sources:  

    I see a multitude of possible sources here, and the more the better in order to maintain independence.

    NIH is a good one, though in the present climate I suspect they would have a hard time providing funds for anything concerning contraceptives, which are a vital need in order to achieve a sustainable population level and avoid the worst of the downside ecological scenarios.  (Measures to assure NIH's scientific independence also needed here.)

    Bill Gates.  I'm serious.  Regardless of what one might think about Microsoft itself (disclosure: I'm cross-platform: Mac, Win, BSD), the fact is that Bill Gates is 100% seriously committed to funding urgent health needs.  The Gates Foundation has provided literally billions of dollars to various health-related projects around the world.  This would fit well within their framework of commitments.  

    Other private foundations:  For example the Guttmacher Institute for contraceptive R&D.  The various foundations that are dedicated to finding cures for specific illnesses.  Perhaps one or more new foundations developed for the specific purpose of funding open-source pharmacology.

    Communication with MDs:

    Start here: the "fee for service" practices.  These are doctors who have decided to return to the oldschool model where they are not involved with any forms of insurance but simply charge cash for primary care.  Thus their administrative costs are a small fraction of what's normal today, and thus they are not bound by insurance company interference in their practices.  While the criticism has been raised that this model is not a means of providing care for the truly poor, the fact is that it makes care accessible to a large chunk of the middle class that would otherwise go unserved (patients are urged to carry the lowest-cost health insurance plans for catastrophic coverage only).  

    Doctors who are engaged in this type of practice tend to be more concerned with providing direct care, less tolerant of layers of administrative bureaucracy, and tend to be somewhat iconoclastic if not overtly dissident with respect to the present healtcare "system."  Thus they would be more likely amendable to an unconventional approach to providing medicines to their patients.  

    If we were to start with these doctors first, we would gain access and "market share," sufficient to get the attention that would cause the concept to spread further.  

    I would be wary of starting first with clinics that serve exclusively or primarily various disadvantaged communities, as the advocates for those communities might believe (mistakenly) that they are being "used" as "guinea pigs."  If we start from the middle class, that will reduce this risk because the disadvantaged communities will see that the middle class has been serving as the "guinea pigs" and has obtained a desirable level of care as a result.

    After some significantly positive outcomes have been achieved, open-source medicines will be recognized as having equal standing with those developed via the present conventional channels, and will become mainstream-standardized, in much the same manner as open-source operating systems have done in the computer and information technology universe.


    So the question is, where to get started...?

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