Once the time comes when the federal government finally allows medical marijuana to become a legitimate part of the healthcare industry, Big Pharma could suffer the loss of billions of dollars,
It looks like the pharmaceutical industry has more than enough reasons to worry about the legalization of marijuana, as investigative studies were conducted by the people at New Frontier Data predicts the legal use of cannabis products for ailments ranging from chronic pain to seizures could cost marketers of modern medicine somewhere around $4 billion per year.
Can Medical Marijuana Coexist With Big Pharma
The report was compiled using a study released last year from the University of Georgia showing a decrease in Medicare prescriptions in states where medical marijuana is legal. The study, which was first outlined by the Washington Post, was largely responsible for stirring up the debate over how a legitimate cannabis market might be able to reduce the national opioid problem. It found that medical marijuana, at least with respect to those drugs for which it is considered an alternative treatment, was already costing pill manufacturers nearly $166 million annually.
Researchers at New Frontier identified nine key areas where medical marijuana will do the most damage to the pharmaceutical market — castrating drug sales for medicines designed to treat anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, nerve pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Tourette syndrome and glaucoma.
By digging deep into each condition, researchers found that if cannabis was used an alternative treatment in only a small percentage of cases, it could strip in upwards of $5 billion from pharmaceutical industry’s $425 billion market.
Although that may not sound like much of a dent, John Kagia, executive vice president of industry analytics for New Frontier, said, “The impact of medical cannabis legalization is not going to be enormously disruptive to the pharmaceutical industry.”
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