Trump pledge sends Swedish pharma stocks down

Trump pledge sends Swedish pharma stocks down
Donald Trump at a press conference on Wednesday. Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Swedish pharmaceutical firms saw their stock prices drop on Thursday morning after US President-Elect Donald Trump used part of his chaotic press conference the day before to say that the US should negotiate better prices from drug companies.

The stock of Swedish-British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca was trading 1.5 percent lower when the Stockholm Stock Exchange opened for business. By 11am it was down 1.76 on the day before.

Formed in a merger of Swedish Astra AB and the British Zeneca Group in 1999, AstraZeneca is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.

Share prices for Solna-based biotechnology firm Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, which develops specialist drugs to patients with rare or life-threatening diseases, dropped by -2.62 percent.

Medical technology company Getinge, which provides equipment for healthcare and life sciences, meanwhile rose 4.2 percent. Overall, the Stockholm Nasdaq Stock Exchange fell to -0.4 percent in early morning trading, but climbed to -0.19 percent by 11am.

Trump said at his press conference in New York that he would make the pharmaceutical industry bid for government contracts.

“There's very little bidding on drugs. We're the largest buyer of drugs in the world. And yet we don't bid properly. We're going to start bidding,” Trump said.

US law currently does not allow federal insurance programme Medicare to negotiate drug prices, essentially allowing the pharmaceutical industry to set their own drug prices.

“They're getting away with murder,” Trump said about the industry. “Pharma has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there is very little bidding.”

The trend was replicated on stock markets across Europe on Thursday morning, with pharma firms also underperforming in DenmarkSpainGermanyFranceSwitzerland and Italy

Bloomberg Markets reported that the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Index both had their biggest single-day drops in three months, falling 3 and 1.7 percent respectively.