Healthcare and drugmaker stocks fell as President-Elect Donald Trump made critical comments about pharmaceutical pricing this morning.
The Indices turned lower after Trump suggested changes to how America pays for its prescription drugs. Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ:MYL), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) have led the declines.
Trump's critical comments of drugmakers are the latest salvo from the president-elect to target specific industries that have roiled equities.
Investors were also looking to Trump’s first press conference since July for details on the timing and scope of planned policies from infrastructure spending to trade pacts that will set the tone for financial markets in 2017.
As of recent, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) has caught an upward trend and briefly crossed the $300 per share threshold for the first time over the past 9 months. The political backdrop has been very contentious and even more so after two of the three presidential debates have wrapped up. I’ve written several pieces evaluating the massive sell-offs in the biotech sector and how extraneous events such as oil, China, interest rates and to a large extent political threats are merely noise in the larger picture. These external events provide great buying opportunities in high-quality companies or the cohort itself as represented by the sector ETF, IBB as a proxy. There’s no doubt that there’s at least a loose correlation if not a direct correlation between opportunistic political posturing by political front-runners (i.e. Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders) and the chronic price suppression of IBB. Each time a tweet is pushed out to social media regarding drug pricing and/or specific attacks on pharmaceutical companies, the entire cohort takes a significant hit as reflected in the price action of IBB. I contend that political posturing played a major role in the sell-off of the healthcare cohort and more specifically biotech stocks. Drug pricing was used as a centerpiece and scapegoat for political gains. Continue reading "Biotech's Upward Trend - IBB Breaks $300"→
Hillary Clinton is once again going after the pharmaceutical companies in the form of drug pricing attacks. Her latest attack was on Mylan and its aggressive 400 percent price increase over the past decade for its EpiPen drug which uses an auto-injection of epinephrine to treat severe allergic reactions. Mylan acquired the product in 2007, and the price increased from $100 in 2008 to its current cost of ~$600. Hillary Clinton was quoted as stating:
"That's outrageous — and it's just the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers," and "It's wrong when drug companies put profits ahead of patients, raising prices without justifying the value behind them."
Even more, after her initial Tweet the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (PACF:IBB) sold off ~5% within minutes and moved from $299 to $279 per share by the next day or 6.7% over a two day period (Figures 1 and 2).
Figure 1 – Hillary Clinton’s remarks pertaining to the EpiPen price increase
Figure 2 – Correlation between Hillary Clinton’s tweet and the subsequent sell-off of the biotech cohort
Former Vermont governor Howard Dean also came out swinging against the pharmaceutical and health-care industry stating that reform is needed which necessitates "far more sweeping" than what Dodd-Frank did for the financial industry. He further went on to state: Continue reading "The Political Biotech Charade"→