Friday, May 24, 2013

J&J Embraces "Special K" for Depression - Why Not Medical Marijuana?

Current antidepressants take weeks or months to have an effect, and then only in 30% of patients, notes Matthew Herper, Forbes, in a recent post (see here).

Herper reports that J&J is "reinventing" ketamine as a product for the rapid treatment of depression just like your kids have been using it for years as a party drug under the name "Special K".

It is suggested that J&J's embrace of ketamine as a product is courageous and that not many other corporate executives would be afraid of trying to turn ketamine as a product.

If it is courageous to consider party drugs to treat depression, it would be even more courageous to consider medical marijuana for this purpose.

I have written about the medical benefits of marijuama before (see, for example, "Big Idea for 2013: Legalization of Marijuana. Will It Hurt Pharma?") and believe it would be much more effective and quicker acting than ketamine with fewer side effects.

The chart below shows how I envision marijuana compares with ketamine and placebo (adapted from one of the slides in a presentation that J&J made to investors):

Of course, you'd never see pharma present the last thing pharma companies want to see is the spread of legal marijuana, which would jeopardize the lucrative products like "reinvented" -- ie, renewed patent protection -- ketamine. As Lee Jackson, author of a Daily Finance article cited in the blog post mentioned above, says, "One thing [big pharma] wants is for marijuana to remain illegal."

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Although I have never heard of 'special k' I thought it was a cereal not a drug. I am all for the legalization of marijuana. This chart has only reassured me of that. Weed makes people happy, why can't the government just see that. Bunch of uptight a**holes if you ask me.


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