Hillary Clinton Unveils New Plan to Fight High-Priced Biotech Treatments

The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) will no doubt fall under pressure today, with Secretary of State and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton renewing her pledge to fight high drug prices from biotech companies.

Clinton announced a new plan to respond to what she called “unjustified price hikes” for Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) EpiPens and other long-available treatments. Mylan has come under heavy criticism for massive price hikes to its portable pens used to save thousands of lives a year from allergic reactions.

Secretary Clinton’s plan states that if an excessive, outlier price increase be determined for a long-standing treatment, it would make new enforcement tools available. These tools include:

  • Making alternatives available and increasing competition, by directly intervening to make treatments available. She’d also support alternative manufacturers that enter the market and increase competition, which helps bring down prices and spur innovation in new treatments.
  • Enforcing penalties for unjustified price increases, holding drug companies accountable and funding expanded access. New penalties, including fines, would be levied. The funds generated from the fines would also be used to expand access and competition.

This marks the first official details of Clinton’s much-anticipated plan. Last month, we detailed a list of ETFs to buy and avoid during a Clinton presidency, and IBB was on the list to avoid for this exact reason.


IBB shares fell $0.96 (-0.34%) to $280.48 per share in premarket trading this morning. The largest biotech ETF has fallen nearly 17% year-to-date, and there may not be a quick end to the pain for biotech names this year.