Although drug lords and cartels are not apt to file annual reports, the United Nations estimates that 5 percent of the global population now takes illegal drugs that account for an approximate $430 billion black market industry that, fortunately, still trails the $800-plus billion prescription drug market.
Of course, government keeps both markets in check for the sake of public safety. It seizes illegal drugs and takes the criminal kingpins to trial in the illegal market, thereby devaluing the illicit drug revenue stream. In the legal drug market, government comparatively acts by using the regulatory approval process as the legal system corporate kingpins must deal with, and the clinic as its institution of incarceration.
Drug dealers do have one advantage over drug makers, though. Before the first pill is even developed, the legitimate drug peddlers are sentenced to 10 years' confinement behind clinic bars and fined $1 billion as conditions of their parole allowing them to perform their potential blockbuster community service. Fortunately, conjugal M&A visits and paid-escort partner deals that can often serve to relieve the inmates' executives' stress and frustration, are allowed.