Merck Joins The Drug Pricing Coalition For Transparency

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Although the political uncertainty has abated, Donald Trump has been able to single handily influence the movement of specific stocks [i.e. Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Ford (NYSE:F), Boeing (NYSE:BA) and others] and sectors (i.e. automotive, biotechnology, defense and healthcare). The overall healthcare sector has become volatile on the heels of any statement or tweet from Donald Trump. Case in point, Trump recently held a press conference and stated his stance with regard to the pharmaceutical industry and more specifically drug pricing. Trump stated that drug companies are "getting away with murder" when speaking to the drug pricing issue that has taken the spotlight. These remarks immediately resulted in a broad sell-off across the entire biotech cohort. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) shed more than 2.5% or $7 per share as these comments were heard during the live broadcast. The healthcare sector has been faced with a political backdrop that's put the entire industry on edge. The overall healthcare umbrella has become sensitive to any tweet from President Trump as he vows to bring down drug prices. As he pursues his agenda against drug pricing, much of these threats may have already been priced-in as seen in many healthcare related stocks [i.e. McKesson (NYSE:MCK), CVS (NYSE:CVS), AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) and Allergan (NYSE:AGN)] that have seen sharp and sustained sell-offs. Lately, many large-cap pharma companies have create a drug pricing coalition of sorts to reign in transparency, separate themselves from a few bad actors and get out in front of Trump's crusade against the drug companies.