Biotech stocks on track for biggest weekly decline in 4 years

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Biotech-Explosions

BY MARKDECAMBRE

Call a doctor! The biotech sector is on the verge of suffering one of its worst weeks in years after Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton raised concerns about what she described as “price gouging” by health-care and biotech companies.

Clinton’s remarks and a the unveiling of a plan Wednesday to curb cost of drugs followed a Sunday New York Times article that highlighted the eye-popping price increase of the drug Daraprim, used to treat a form of parasitic infection, which was abruptly lifted to $750 per dose from $13.50.

The carnage in the wake of the former first lady’s comments have pushed the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB, -4.90% down 8.9% week-to-date. That would be the biotech exchange-traded fund’s largest weekly fall since August 2011, when it dropped more than 13% as European debt-contagion fears gripped world markets.

Other biotech funds are facing a similar slump with the SPDR S&P Biotech ETFXBI, -6.85% tracking a more than 10% weekly tumble, also on pace for its largest weekly drop since the same period in 2011, when it shed more than 16%.

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