Who Killed The Pharma Tycoon Who Was Developing A Cannabis Pill?
You may not have heard of Barry and Honey Sherman, but you should.
An investigation was carried out by The Sun, which goes like this…
The well-loved couple was one of the richest families in Canada. Barry, 75 years old, amassed his wealth thorough the pharmaceutical industry, starting a company named Apotex back in 1974. Friends of the couple say that he only smoked pot once, when he was a teenager. But over time, he developed an interest in creating a new way for patients to medicate with cannabis that didn’t involve smoking it.
But just last December, the couple’s real estate agent called the cops after discovering their dead bodies. The death of the Shermans became an international mystery, especially considering that there was no evidence of forced entry or any struggle, reports The Star.
A year before they were killed, Barry signed on to a project with his scientists at Apotex and CannTrust, a cannabis firm. The project was going to be the “pharmaceuticalization of marijuana,” and they had the goal of helping patients suffering from a wide range of ailments including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures, and other illnesses, according to investors.
“I think Barry decided Apotex better get in on the ground level,” says businessman Aubrey Dan, who worked with Barry. Aubrey was once a competitor of Barry’s when they were working on generic drugs. “Barry was a true entrepreneur. He has always been a risk taker.”
The approval from Health Canada was estimated to be in two years’ time yet, although once approved, the pills from Apotex was expected to be a major disrupter in the billion-dollar pharmaceutical business. It would have been a safe alternative to the fatal, addictive opioids – as well as other harmful prescription drugs.
Aside from developing the pot pill, Barry had other projects such as his charities and his real estate investment in Toronto. However, he had legal battles with his cousins who claim that he owed them stakes in his company. Nonetheless, the cousins lost in court.
The Toronto police consider the case to be a “targeted double homicide”. Initially, the cops thought that Honey was the only victim, and that Barry was responsible for her death before killing himself. But this theory was discredited after the police reviewed the information from the pathologist.
Many feel that Barry’s involvement into medical marijuana was perhaps one of his most peculiar ideas, says The Star article. But despite the death of the couple, CannTrust and Apotex plan to go full steam ahead with the project. Apotex scientists will continue where Barry left off, working on unique dosage formulations for the pot pill.
Blood Is Thicker Than Water?
News reports of Kerry Winter, Barry’s cousin, has surfaced; as he may be a prime suspect in the killings.
Winter and other cousins who sued Barry for a large piece of his fortune were demanded to pay $300,000 to the Apotex founder to cover legal costs, just a week before the murder. The bitter family feuds that occurred before the murder plus the required payout made this a possible motive – prompting Kerry to speak out.
“I have no qualms, concerns, worries about sitting down with Detective Brandon Price,” said 56-year old Kerry, who was responsible for leading the billion-dollar lawsuit against Harry for over 10 years now. “I had absolutely nothing to do with Barry and Honey’s death. Zero. I want to put that on the record,” Kerry told an interview with The Star.
His alibi states that when the Shermans were killed, he was attending a 12-step Cocaine Anonymous program the evening the couple was last seen alive. The next day, he reported to the construction site where he worked as manager. In between these hours, he claims to have been home watching Netflix and slept.
Keep Your Enemies Close
Throughout the years, Apotex has been involved in over a thousand court cases particularly for the purpose of challenging drug patents. “It definitely makes it the lost litigious pharma company in Canada, and probably the most litigious company period,” says Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa law professor.
“It’s far to observe the way he did business he would have had many enemies,” Attaran adds. He also feels that the way Barry did business may have contributed to the fact that Canadians are among those who pay the highest for generic drugs.
“He was unethical in business. His drugs were overpriced and gouged Canadians,” said Attaran on his Twitter.
Investigations continue. Who do you think killed Barry and Honey Sherman?