Pharma

With one tweet, Bernie Sanders caused a pharma company’s stock to drop $400 million in a day

A tweet posted to Bernie Sanders’ official Twitter account has caused the stock of a pharmaceutical company to tank.

Sanders told his 2.6 million followers that Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. had raised the price of its leukemia drug “to almost $199,000 a year.”

“Drug corporations’ greed is unbelievable,” Sanders’ said in the tweet, including a link to an article on the story. “Ariad has raised the price of a leukemia drug to almost $199,000 a year.”

Not long after the tweet was posted, Ariad’s stock dropped 15 percent, totaling $387 million dollars. It was the company’s biggest intraday decline in over a year, according to Bloomberg.

Iclusig, the drug Sanders mentioned, treats a rare form of leukemia, and has seen its price raised four times this year alone, to $16,000 for a 30-day pack.

Explaining the rising prices, an Ariad spokeswoman told Statnews that the company assesses “pricing based on a range of factors, including efforts to make sure that pricing appropriately reflects the benefit the therapy delivers to patients and to the healthcare system.”

“We have substantial clinical data highlighting the benefits of Iclusig, as you know, which addresses an area of high unmet medical need in an ultra-orphan patient population of around 1,000 to 2,000 patients per year. We believe that our pricing actions also consistently reflect our significant investment in R&D and our ongoing commitment to the patient population we serve through our medicines.”

A similar situation happened to the drug company Mylan, which saw its shares tank after Hillary Clinton publicly criticized them for hiking the price of the EpiPen allergy medication.

 Featured image: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

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