The biotech sector was getting crushed Wednesday afternoon, likely in response to statements made by Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, as well as The White House regarding the increase in EpiPen pricing.
Clinton's statement said, "Over the last several years, Mylan Pharmaceuticals has increased the price of EpiPens by more than 400%. They're now charging up to $600 for a two-EpiPen set that must be replaced every 12-18 months. This both increases out-of-pocket costs for families and first responders, and contributes to higher premiums for all Americans and their employers."
"That's outrageous -- and it's just the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers. I believe that our pharmaceutical and biotech industries can be an incredible source of American innovation, giving us revolutionary treatments for debilitating diseases. But it's wrong when drug companies put profits ahead of patients, raising prices without justifying the value behind them... I am calling on Mylan to immediately reduce the price of EpiPens."
The SPDR S&P Biotech (ETF) XBI was down more than 1.6 percent at $62.73, while the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (ETF) IBB was down more than 1.3 percent at $292.22.
Conversely, the Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3X Shares LABD was up more than 7 percent at $22.24.
Mylan NV MYL, which was already down this week, lost another 4.4 percent Wednesday to $43.61.
Separately, The White House said pharmaceutical firms risked damaging their reputations with big price hikes.
"I'm obviously not going to make specific comments to specifically second guess the pricing strategy ... of one private enterprise," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing. "I will observe, however, that pharmaceutical companies that often try to portray themselves as the inventors of life-saving medication often do real damage to their reputation by being greedy and jacking up prices."
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