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Potential consequence of plant extinction in the United States on the current and future availability of prescription drugs


This paper attempts to answer the question: What is the dollar value that can be placed on a single plant species now growing in the United States, should it become extinct? Based on available botanical and prescription survey data and data on global studies of plants as a source of new drugs for human use, the value of a single species is calculated to be $203 million, and the total value of plant species growing in the United States that may become extinct by the year 2000 AD is calculated to be about $3,248 billion.

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Farnsworth, N.R., Soejarto, D.D. Potential consequence of plant extinction in the United States on the current and future availability of prescription drugs. Econ Bot 39, 231–240 (1985).

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