Time magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump the person of the year. In his interview, Trump addressed the rise in biotechnology stocks after the announcement of his election, saying that (contrary to popular belief) he intends to “bring down drug prices.” Despite what many investors and experts in the pharmaceutical industry believed, Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only presidential candidate with intentions to change the way the pharmaceutical industry operates.
Following the publication of this interview, “shares of U.S. pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies fell,” according to Reuters. Marketwatch found that the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF fell by 2.6 percent, while the iShares NASDAQ Biotech ETF dipped by 1.7 percent (though, these rates continue to fluctuate).
“I don’t like what has happened with drug prices,” Trump told Time magazine. He did not, however, specify how exactly he intends to reduce drug prices.
“Trump previously has suggested he was open to allowing importation of cheaper medicines from overseas, a move that has been consistently opposed by the pharmaceutical industry and U.S. health regulators,” Reuters reported. On his campaign, Trump also called for “requiring Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to lower costs.”
Time elaborates on the interview in a secondary story on drug pricing:
TIME: You’re going to have a fight through in Washington, because of a lot of Republicans. You talk about the stock market going up. One of the areas of the stock market that went up were biotechnology stocks. And the bet there was because you were in, you were less likely to bring down drug prices because of Republicans in congress than Hillary Clinton would have been.
TRUMP: Well actually the drug companies haven’t done well. I saw the other day the drug companies have not gone up very much. Because I’m going to bring down drug prices. I don’t like what’s happened with drug prices.
In recent years drug prices have continued to increase. A number of companies, particularly those who have increased the price of their drugs by 300 and 700 percent, have found themselves at the center of public outrage and media coverage over the scandal. According to Bloomberg:
Over the past 18 months, companies including EpiPen allergy shot maker Mylan NV and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. have borne the brunt of public outrage over costs. Last week, the chief executives of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Pfizer Inc. sparred over the reasons their industry’s reputation has suffered, including the role that prices have played.
With no additional information as to what Trump intends to do about drug prices, the pharmaceutical industry continues to hold its breath.
Lead image photo credit: Gage Skidmore.