The FBI arrested Ross Ulbricht (aka Dread Pirate Roberts), the man said to run the online black market for drugs, Silk Road. He is accused of “massive money-laundering” and for trying to arrange a murder-for-hire. (Another Silk Road user threatened to release the identities of thousands of users of the site.) Busting the illicit Internet entrepreneur, the FBI also seized 26,000 Bitcoins worth approximately $3.6 million.
Competing for attention in the drug world this week, the world’s third-largest drugmaker Merck & Co. announced it will cut an additional 8,500 jobs (bringing the total this year to 16,000). While the company blames competition from cheaper generic medications (among other things), Erik Gordon, an analyst and professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, says generic drugs are just half of the story. These companies “are not developing enough new drugs to replace the revenue they lose to the cheaper competitors.” Meanwhile Merck says the cuts (or savings) are expected to come mostly from marketing and research and development–though cutting R&D doesn’t seem like a sound solution to the problem Gordon describes. Looking for an innovative drug company that’s taking cues from both legal and illegal success stories? Check out The Swiss Online Pharmacy–it not only sells a lot of generic medications (with active ingredients approved by the US FDA), it also accepts Bitcoin.