Tag Archives: drugs

Well at least they were candid…

From change.gov:

Q: “Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?”

– S. Man, Denton


A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

I’m happy to see that the administration didn’t skip over this kind of question. I think it shows an unusual level of political inclusiveness.

Personally, I am in favor of legalizing marijuana — and I believe it’s only a matter of time — but now isn’t the time or place. Doing such a thing would have very little overall benefit, while burning copious amounts of precious political capital. (Which I believe Obama will use to push through his green programs and his healthcare proposals.)

I also disagree with the assertion that marijuana will create a multi-billion dollar industry, because once you let supply and demand function more freely, the scarcity premium is minimized. (Though this slack may be taken up by higher bureaucratic costs.)

In terms of demand, I see marijuana more like the cigar business than the cigarette business: while there is doubtless a large number of regular users, I suspect they are the relative minority in the pot-smoking demographic.

On that note, I think I feel a larger drug post coming on soon in the next couple of days…

Gardasil: DTC advertising via your college bookstore

Merck is advertising Gardasil directly to college students that utilize Barnes and Noble’s bkstore.com. For those unfamiliar, bkstore.com has a plugin structure where students log on to their college’s bookstore, choose their class number (e.g. PHRM 328), and their books are loaded up, and you can either pick them up or have them shipped to you. No going to stand in lines or trying to figure out what books you need. One click shopping at it’s most convenient.

So these are college bookstores inadvertently advertising prescription drugs to the entire college population. Well, more accurately, to the population that chooses to have their books shipped to their home, anyway. I don’t know if the bundles that can be picked up have similar advertising info.

Merck’s going about it in a strange way, though. They’re sticking the prescribing information into these boxes. No fancy brochures, just the PI packet, which I find rather bizarre.

I can’t say it doesn’t make sense, or that it’s a terrible idea — I think it’s better than advertising Ambien on television — but it does make me wonder what’s next… Cephalon advertising Provigil to high school and college kids? Med students? Pharmacy students?

Hey, why not?

(No discounts for having advertising in your box of books, either. ;) )