Pharmaceutical companies are one of the biggest influences in the US economy and, subsequently, in US law.
The impending legalization of cannabis has the pharmaceutical industry in a tizzy; a recent study “From Prescription to Recommendation: How Cannabis Could Disrupt the Pharmaceutical Industry”, found that “if medical cannabis were legalized in all 50 states, the expenditures by pharmaceutical companies on the top nine conditions commonly treated by medical marijuana could plummet by as much as $18.5 billion between 2016 and 2019.”
It is no secret that Big Pharma has lobbied against medical (and recreational) marijuana legalization as they stand to lose a substantial amount of money.
States that have already legalized medical cannabis are already seeing the effects: prescription drug usage has decreased by an average of 11%.
The National Academies of Science keeps track of the conditions most effectively treated with medical marijuana , and nearly all of them have high-profit prescription counterparts.
Big Pharma is an incredibly powerful and lucrative industry. While $18.5 billion in losses over a three year period may seem enormous, “medical cannabis would be a drop in the bucket when it comes to impacting the total pharmaceutical industry”, according to Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Data.
What does legalizing cannabis mean?
“The United States constitutes 35 percent of the global pharmaceutical market, the largest market in the world, and a major driver of the U.S. economy,” said Aguirre De Carcer in New Frontier Data’s published report.
Though $18.5 billion is an incredible amount of money, Aguirre De Carcer explains how, going up against the largest international industry in the world, “medical cannabis would be a drop in the bucket when it comes to impacting the total pharmaceutical industry.”
However, on the front of specific sectors of the industry, especially those that act as highly profitable sub-markets for pharmaceutical companies like chronic pain or symptoms associated with chemotherapy, Cancer and her researchers believe that medical marijuana could make a serious impact.
With such profits on the line to be gained or lost depending on the legal status of it and its treatments, it’s no wonder that national legalization might be continually stalled at the behest of the economic machine that is big pharma.
What is medical cannabis mostly used for?
It stands to reason that if cannabis became legal – nationwide – that many patients would choose it instead of traditional pharmaceuticals (or perhaps add it to the use of traditional drugs and thereby, use less).
So, what are the conditions most effectively treated by medical cannabis:
- chronic pain
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- sleep disorders
- nerve pain
- chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV)
- Tourette syndrome
- and seizures/epilepsy