Sanders Tweet Wipes $387M From Firm's Value

Company raised price of cancer drug to $199K a year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2016 6:29 AM CDT
Sanders Tweet Wipes $387M From Firm's Value
Bernie Sanders gestures while campaigning for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire last week.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

A single tweet from Bernie Sanders was enough to send the share price of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. to dive 15% Friday, wiping around $387 million off the value of the drug firm, the Hill reports. "Drug corporations’ greed is unbelievable. Ariad has raised the price of a leukemia drug to almost $199,000 a year," Sanders tweeted, linking to this article about the Massachusetts-based firm, which has raised the price of its Iclusig medication four times this year.

"Our pricing reflects our significant investment in R&D, our commitment to the very small, ultra orphan cancer patient populations that we serve and the associated risk with research and development," the company said in a statement, adding that its R&D cost was more than its revenue last year. CNBC notes that this has been a tough year for the biotech sector, with overall share prices down more than 20% amid strong criticism on the campaign trail. But Ariad shareholders aren't going to lose their shirts: Even with Friday's drop, the company's share price is still up 78% this year. (Read more Bernie Sanders stories.)

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