The names of the top pharmacies in the world will come as no surprise to most: CVS, Walgreens, Amazon. Wait, what? Amazon? CNBC recently reported that Amazon may be considering the sale of prescription drugs online, a lucrative market of approximately $560 billion annually. Breaking into the U.S. prescription drug market could be the start of huge financial gains for Amazon, but many people are wondering how they would manage the transition from sales of primarily unregulated items, into selling products from one of the most highly regulated industries. Analysts at Leerink Partners, an investment bank specializing in healthcare, predict Amazon will be involved in prescription drug sales by the year 2019. This idea is not new for Amazon, with a previous attempt at an online site named drugstore.com, which is no longer open.
Mississippi and Ohio are two states that have been hit hard by the recent opioid crisis affecting the nation, with over 200,000 Ohioans addicted to opioids. Mike DeWine, the Attorney General, filed a lawsuit in May of 2017 against 5 separate pharmaceutical companies alleging that the companies “helped unleash a health crisis that has had far-reaching financial, social, and deadly consequences in the state of Ohio”. This makes Ohio the second state to file suit against pharma companies, with Mississippi the first state. They allege that the manufacturers knowingly marketed opioids while minimizing the risks of addiction, while simultaneously overstating the benefits.
Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed medication for anxiety, seizures, and a myriad of other medical conditions. However, this medication doesn’t come without its faults, of which there are many serious ones. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Xanax are potentially addictive after only a short period of time, and are highly sought after by drug addicts and even patients who aren’t psychologically addicted but are physically dependent on the medication.