Big Pharma could stand to lose roughly $4 billion annually if the federal government lets medical marijuana become a bigger force in the healthcare industry, New Frontier Data forecasts.
Data compiled from a study at the University of Georgia showed that Medicare prescriptions reduced significantly in medical marijuana legal states, according to Salon. When the study was conducted, medical marijuana was already costing Big Pharma about $166 million per year in revenues.
These nine pharmaceutical markets are already being impacted considerably:
- Chronic pain
- Nerve Pain
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Sleep disorders
Many patients with these conditions are opting for medical marijuana instead of pharmaceuticals.
Researchers also found that medical marijuana could strip $5 billion from the pharmaceutical industry’s $425 billion market.
John Kagia of New Frontier Data said, “The impact of medical cannabis legalization is not going to be enormously disruptive of the pharmaceutical industry.” Regardless, this is still a big chunk of money.
The report specifically included Pfizer Inc. It estimated that medical marijuana could take about $500 million from the company’s $53 billion annual revenue. GW Pharmaceuticals and Insys Therapeutics have already developed marijuana-based medications.
Some fear that the federal government would go as far as limiting medical marijuana to pharmaceutical manufacturing only.