Investors in the healthcare industry were thrilled by the victory of Donald Trump, causing shares in drug makers to rise. Pharmaceutical giants and large biotech firms saw their shares surge sharply on Wednesday, with the belief that Trump would be more welcoming of higher drug prices than Hillary Clinton. Shares in Merck(MRK), Pfizer (PFE), Allergan (AGN) and Gilead Sciences (GILD) were up by about 6 percent. Another beneficiary was Mylan (MYL), the makers of allergy medication EpiPen, whose shares were up 5 percent. Even European drug makers got a boost, with Sanofi (GCVRZ),
Shire (SHPG) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on the top-gainers list. Drug and biotech firms have been under-fire for the past year, having increased the prices of some widely-used drugs. The expectation is that Trump would be lax on drug prices, and would rather concentrate his efforts on Obamacare – the Affordable Care Act.
“Controlling drug prices won’t be a priority for Trump. So his election is a positive for pharma stocks and biotechs. He’s more likely to look to make changes to Obamacare,” said Amy Kong, a senior portfolio manager at Fiduciary Trust Company International. Hospital stocks were in turmoil on Wednesday, with HCA (HCA) experiencing a 15 percent drop. The impact was even more severe on Tenet Healthcare (THC) and Community Health Systems (CYH) , who were down 25 percent. The managing principal of Spectrum Management Group, Bob Phillips, believes the market might be overreacting or even underreacting. He said “There will still be a lot of scrutiny on drug prices under Trump since health care costs are rising faster than many other parts of the economy. I’m surprised at this big move higher for pharma and biotech stocks.” He also believes that Trump won’t be as aggressive towards Obamacare as many fear.