What’s wrong with our pharma industry? I understand the need to make a profit and invest in expensive research for future products – I’m a businessman. But we keep hearing a series of negative stories about drug companies. According to a recently unsealed deposition, excerpts of which appeared an article by David Armstrong of ProPublica appeared in statnews on  February 21, 2019. –

OxyContin is less addictive than morphine – ask Richard Sackler of Purdue Pharma. It is? Is Purdue Pharma being singled out for helping create the opioid problem in the US?1

News stories including on 60 Minutes discuss unconscionable prescription drug price increases that are difficult to defend and even more difficult to roll back. It’s a vicious cycle where the companies’ leaders are getting richer as indicated in a NY Times piece by William Lazonick and Öner Tulum on February 26, 2019 titled “How High Drug Prices Inflate C.E.O.s’ Pay”.2

The article is listed as an opinion piece likely to avoid litigation from PHRMA, the pharmaceutical industry trade association. The authors explain how the cycle of price increases translate to stock price increases, and of course stock options are part of the compensation plan for pharmaceutical executives.

Meanwhile Congress is grilling pharma executives this week about these drug price increases. But government won’t do anything because so many of our elected officials accept money from these companies. So you might say the sky high drug prices partly end up in our elected officials’ pockets as well. If those elected officials would recuse themselves from this hearing how many will be left to do the questioning? Are they to be trusted?

cannabis researchDrug companies have an ethical responsibility and obligation to improve medical conditions by introducing new medication to patients globally; build awareness of disease prevention, diagnosis, treatments available and health care alternatives; and to work towards continuous improvement efforts. Affordable pricing is not one of them. We pay the most for prescription medications of any country in the world. We are the ones that help bring the drugs to market by participating in their clinical trials. We are treated the worst.

Pharma Prices fuel the growth of Medical Cannabis

It’s no surprise then that people are disillusioned with the drug industry and are increasingly turning to more alternative health care options like medical cannabis. Everything from cannabis oil to CBD products are flying off the proverbial shelf. A combination of events has led more people to experiment with alternative therapies;

– greater access to CBD and THC products,

– greater acceptance of medical cannabis,

– continued rising costs of prescription medications, and

– difficulty with the undesired and unintended side effects of many prescription drugs.

The cannabis hemp industry is growing dramatically. It is also benefiting from the derived benefits of medical cannabis and medical CBD products. This is especially true within the over-55 community. The pharmaceutical industry is watching as patients replace some of their prescription therapy for more natural alternatives.

The cannabis and hemp industry would be wise to get greater acceptance among the public  by doing the research that proves cannabis is effective for medical conditions. Such funding  would enable them to appeal to an ever wider circle of consumer. Through clinical research, processors and brand managers could help more people while selling more product. They can do good by doing good.

1https://www.statnews.com/2019/02/21/purdue-pharma-richard-sackler-oxycontin-sealed-deposition/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=20e6c88c42-purdue_alert_22119&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-20e6c88c42-151198353

2https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/opinion/drug-pricing-senate-hearing.html  

About Joseph Sameh

Joseph (Joe) Sameh, President of CannaTrials, is a healthcare entrepreneur and recognized industry leader, author, and speaker.  He has more than a decade experience as medical practice manager with a previous 30 year career in computer, telephone, and communications systems. His unique contributions to better patient access in clinical trials, patient recruitment ,and enhanced management of the process, are widely recognized. Among his inventions, Sameh invented what we know of as the patient communications portal in your electronic health record that allows you to communicate with your physician.  Starting a call center for doctors in Chicago, MediConnect evolved to provide services to more than 17,000 physicians nationwide plus the majority of Chicago area hospitals.