Why Hasn't Big Pharm Developed Marijuana
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Why Hasn't Big Pharm Developed Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on February 15, 2016 at 05:25:36 PT
Newsweek Special Edition 
Source: Newsweek
USA -- In the 1980s, scientists working for Pfizer set their sights on developing a drug for the pharmaceutical giant that would relieve hypertension and help save the lives of those suffering from angina. After years of tireless research by some of the best scientific minds money could buy, Pfizer created the chemical compound sildenafi l citrate in 1989. The company poured more money, time and talent into putting its new drug through clinical trials, only to discover sildenafi l citrate wasn’t very effective in treating heart problems. However, men taking the would-be heart medication reported increased erections, and Pfizer decided to spin the drug’s side effect into its main purpose. On March 27, 1998, the FDA approved sildenafi l citrate for public consumption under the brand name Viagra. Sale of the little blue pill swelled Pfizer’s bottom line, with the company reporting more than $2 billion in revenue in 2012, almost 15 years after the medicine’s market debut. The story of Viagra stands as one of the biggest successes in the history of commercial pharmaceuticals. With companies marketing drugs directly to consumers promising cures for almost anything, an increasingly destigmatized cannabis seems a likely target for the industry’s next game-changing medicine.
But while the state-by-state legalization of medical (and recreational) cannabis has led to prescription-wielding patients availing themselves to strains of Purple Kush and Skywalker OG, significant obstacles discourage pharmaceutical companies from devoting the money and manpower needed to develop a marketable, patentable drug to take the plant’s place. Cannabis sits on the federal government’s list of Schedule I drugs—substances the government has deemed to have no medicinal value. For those tasked with creating new pharmaceuticals, this makes the already-laborious process of research and clinical trials even more arduous. The FDA, DEA and U.S. Public Health Service have to approve the release of cannabis to outside parties, and every bit of the plant has to be accounted for and secured, adding to the headache for those wanting to rake in a profit from pot. Even if a company created a drug, protecting the fruits of its labor with a patent is a dubious prospect at best. “You can’t take a plant and patent it,” Kenneth Kaitin, director of the Center for Drug Development at Tufts University, told Healthline in April 2015. “You’d have to have some sort of a process for isolating the active compound. But once you get away from product patents, the patent strength starts to diminish. Patents are progressively less and less of a protection because it’s a lot easier to reproduce a compound using a slightly different process.”A few pharmaceutical companies outside of the United States have dipped their toes into turning cannabis into a product customers could find on the shelves of drugstores, most notably the British-based biofirm GW Pharmaceuticals. GW grows its cannabis in the U.K., where the legal restrictions have less of a stranglehold on researchers, and is in the processes of creating medicines based on that crop. Currently, the company’s cannabis extract mouth spray Sativex is in the final clinical trials in the U.S. for cancer-related pain. Sativex received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2013, in part thanks to the federal government not officially considering it cannabis (even though the spray contains both THC and CBD). If approved and marketed, Sativex would follow in the footsteps of Marinol, a pill containing THC that doctors have prescribed to AIDS and cancer patients suffering from loss of appetite, which the FDA approved in 1985. But getting Sativex into the hands (and mouths) of patients is still years away, and the broader market for medicinal marijuana products lies untapped. Whether anyone will brave the inhospitable business climate and hazy legality of cannabis to create the next Viagra remains a mystery.This article, written by Assistant Editor Alicia Kort, was excerpted from Newsweek's Special Edition, Weed 2016: The Beginning of the End for Pot Prohibition.This was excerpted from Newsweek's Special Edition, Weed 2016: The Beginning of the End for Pot Prohibition, by Issue Editor James Ellis. For more on Marijuana in 2016, pick up your copy today.Source: Newsweek (US)Author: Alicia Kort, Assistant EditorPublished: February 14, 2016Copyright: 2016 Newsweek, Inc.Contact: letters newsweek.comWebsite: http://www.newsweek.comURL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by jetblackchemist on February 24, 2016 at 02:20:45 PT
pig pharma
this article is exactly why so many feet drag... the money to be made. i read one trial drug killed from this hacking at many pharma drugs have such bad side effects when the non constructed herbs have more benefit thats slowly milked out for patent medicine. not to mention the huge lobby against herbs and vitamins thanks pig pharma... your trough has been over filled for far too long... where safety does not equal effective when the side effects for patent medicine are worse than what one is trying to treat.its like we are all guiena pigs, where the clincals just keep going and the problems they cause in an attempt to solve... just create some new problem as we adapt to thhe adversity of foreign substances in our body chemistry... requiring yet another drug... chemical evolution? or chemical revolution?opponents of legalization are obviously invested in some manner to its blockade. either through pharma, enforcement, or rote belief instead of full experience or any at all just hear say... such folks should not be forming policy as it is surrounded by greed and ignorance that does not benefit humanity but is instead a deteriment to it.take care of you before someone else tries too... that may not have your best interest in mind but theirs. im not trying to be subversive, but no one chose their birth place... so dictating over ones autonomity of their body no matter what law is ethically illegal no matter where or how many laws state otherwise... in the way my body my right comes across this issue is no different.experience varies from person to person correlation does not equal cause and effect, in the case of cannabis in whole form as a medicine? has proven itself over all good for consumption for medicine and recreation with responsible use... even when used excessively as a coping mechanism to stressors its safer than anothing else going...
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on February 20, 2016 at 09:20:55 PT
A flying broom.
That seems wrong. I guess it's a cute way of glossing over the egregious scapegoating, murder, imprisoning, demonizing and persecution of innocent fellow humans.Cute.
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Comment #6 posted by Oleg the Tumor on February 19, 2016 at 09:57:35 PT
#2-Nice work Sam Adams
Good old Newburyport, Massachusetts, one of my old sales territories along with Salem, MA where the police cars actually have a logo on the door depicting a flying broom, I kid you not!This is the greater Boston area, where one can get elected from jail! Just Google the name "Curley" for a similar comedy of taxpayers error.Pizzas here. Gotta go.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on February 17, 2016 at 15:47:38 PT
keep in mind the T. Boone Pickens proposal to build mega-wind farms in the upper Midwest to supply the whole country with electricty and shut down all fossil fuel plants would cost around $900 billion as I recall. This includes the wind turbines and upgrading the electrical grid of the US.The defense budget is over $800 billion PER YEAR. So for the price of one year's military budget we could convert domestic electricity to solar. No way we're going anywhere near that plan! The families of the Standard Oil monopoly never gave up - they're still here with us today, calling the shots.
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Comment #4 posted by observer on February 17, 2016 at 15:00:47 PT
Gouging Mister ''Big'' Has Got Gov't Guns
Why Hasn't Big Pharm Developed Marijuana? Because Big Pharma wants to gouge you and millions of others, while using government guns to arrest, jail, and shoot you if you use pot. They paid for the politicians, didn't they? This is merely return on investment. This isn't the whole (big) picture of course: government police are paid well to use those guns on you because of marijuana. Their big, large, police unions like it that way ($$$). So there are plenty of big-money, big armed government -corrupting vested interests that want to keep arresting you for cannabis. That includes "Big Pharma", includes big police unions, and includes big drug (pot) pee-pee testing companies. All of these big vested interests have a big financial stake in using government as their "muscle" (with guns, which are used to kill people). Big dope-testing, big police unions, big pharma: they all like to use big government police-state guns, to force you at gunpoint, not to use cannabis. All of them, quite eager to shoot you dead on the spot, if you should resist. And what was Kevin Abraham Sabet saying about that scary "Big Marijuana"?
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Comment #3 posted by observer on February 17, 2016 at 10:02:13 PT
Patent System = Government Protection
The US Patent system is basically a way for government and those corporations which have captured government, to get first dibs on anything that is really useful, and to prevent people from getting it.The US patent system is corrupt by design, and is designed to serve the secret police state. Are your solar cells too efficient? The secret police steals your idea, and makes you a criminal for telling people about it, let alone profiting from it. Does your invention give too much power to the peons? Forget it. Stamped "secret" and you're now a criminal for telling others of what you found. 
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office is is a great example. The office is supposed to legally protect the inventions of entrepreneurs and companies, some of whom have developed ground breaking technology. Unfortunately, that’s not the case as new documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal how the Patent Office has been using a secret system to withhold the approval of some applications. they "withhold the approval of some applications" -- like big bad weapons, you must mean? No, peaceful things you could use, like:
... patents for solar photovoltaic generators were subject to review and possible restriction if the photovoltaics were more than 20% efficient. Energy conversion systems were likewise subject to review and possible restriction if they offered conversion efficiencies in “excess of 70-80%.” 
So, all the weeping and wailing about an "energy crisis" and "peak oil" etc. is complete B.S. from any angle you care to look. If your solar-powered invention actually works too well, for example, then, "Bam!" - it is marked "secret" and you're a criminal for telling anyone. Government men with guns will arrest you if you do, and murder you dead instantly on the spot if you resist. Same as for pot. Believe me, cannabis policy isn't a government exception or aberration. Power corrupts, and the US government is no exception in any way, whatsoever. 
The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun.-- R. Buckminster Fuller
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on February 16, 2016 at 15:42:38 PT
Cop fired forÉ.misconduct
so wrong on so many levels!  One of the most bizarre, and hilarious, epidsodes I've seen in the drug war - the state hired this guy to "police" medMJ:>>>After a months-long public records battle with the city of Newburyport, 5 Investigates uncovered an internal affairs investigation into an embarrassing and potentially criminal act committed by a Newburyport police sergeant.Chaisson's troubles started in September 2013 when a woman told police that she spotted a man masturbating in his truck parked on Newburyport's Water Street.…….But Chaisson is not useless to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he landed on the payroll in the sensitive job of policing the state's medical marijuana program.
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Comment #1 posted by SoupHerb on February 15, 2016 at 08:04:07 PT:
Simply put...
Big pharma can't develop that which is already perfected by Mother Nature. It would be like asking big pharm to make a better potato.Besides this Corporation is in bed with the Feds and after all the pushing and shoving it all comes down to money.If in fact the statement is about Marijuana and not Cannabis then you are dealing with snake oil salesmen and all it's fraud...Cannabis is real, natural, god given, of the earth just like man. Up until all the political and corporate conspiracy of the late 1930's the plant was known around the world as the best aspirin ever. It was in almost everyone's medicine cabinet. But then came the corporate fraud and bought politicians to make stuff that makes rope criminal to grow or know the rest of the story.It never was about smoking a flower...
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