The final frontier
We all know that Big Pharma loves to make big bucks and will go to all and any lengths, unethical or otherwise, to achieve that goal. Now that pharmaceutical companies are officially attracted by the huge potential of the medical marijuana market, they are busily trying to figure out a way to corner it.
However, it’s not so simple as long as people can grow their own weed, which drugmakers obviously detest the mere thought of. Let us not forget the depraved behavior of Insys Therapeutics, creators of the synthetic cannabis, Syndros. They got their formula approved by the DEA, then proceeded to donate tons of money to organizations in Arizona working to sabotage legalization.
While Big Pharma has the money for testing and research, which adds to the already exorbitant cost of drugs in this country, they complain constantly that the FDA’s drug approval process moves at glacial speed.
Given these facts, and knowing what we do about the effectiveness of MMJ, one wonders if Big Pharma is for or against legalization? Let’s face it, the huge potential revenues medical cannabis promises are hard to ignore.
It is also worth noting that pharmaceutical companies support the DEA’s continued listing of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, along with heroin and meth. Many believe that while the government keeps weed in that category, essentially stymying all MMJ research, Big Pharma is getting its ducks in a row.
Companies such as Axim Biotechnologies, Nemus Bioscience, and Intec Pharma Ltd. are already it the process of developing cannabis-based painkillers. Of course, they are. There has never been a better moment to target the nearly 24 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain. Then why does Big Pharma lobby against legalization, or does it?
“Big Pharma is lobbying against legalization, on the purported grounds of safety, but in reality, they are just buying time to create their own synthetic cannabis medicines,” said; Alan Hirsch, CEO of Diagnostic Lab Corporation, a New Jersey-based science safety and cannabis company.
“Several biotech companies have started creating cannabinoid chemistry from rice or yeast, but eventually,” Hirsch told Entrepreneur, “these medicines will be manufactured by Big Pharma in Schedule 1 facilities.”
So, the answer to the question is yes, drug companies might just support legalizing marijuana, but only if they can make lots of money from it.
“No pharmacy company is interested in making cheaper medicine,” Brian Chaplin, founder of Medicine Box told Entrepreneur. “The existing Pharma industry is more about patenting and manufacturing medicine that is a treatment plan—not a curative plan.”
Big Pharma wants people to need their products for the rest of their lives; healing is not part of the equation.
“This is different from a ‘whole plant’ medicine approach where we see patients responding to the synergistic effects of multiple compounds in the plant that are usually lacking in a pharmacy,” continued Chaplin.
There is no doubt that Big Pharma is concerned exclusively with its own bottom line. If medical marijuana can boost that, drug companies will flock to the green fields of cannabis, which tells us that we need to keep our own fields green and healthy before they get here.