Just weeks after the election result and of course the dust is yet to settle. Science and technology, like so many other spheres, must get in the queue to try and find out just what sort of an effect President Trump could have on them.
So what may the impact be on biotechnology, medicine and pharmaceutical advances over the upcoming five years?
As it stands, no one seems to be able to point to any policies with any great certainties – all we can do is look and see what may happen based on what has been said already.
- SHARES IN PHARMACEUTICAL AND BIOTECH FIRMS GO UP
Immediately after the election result, one of the first things to happen was a sudden spike in the value of shares in pharmaceutical and biotech corporations.
The manufacturers of EpiPen, Mylan, saw their share prices rise by 5% and fellow giants of pharmaceuticals Allergan, Merck, Gilead Sciences and Pfizer went up by 6%. They were not alone; also European firms GlaxoSmithKline, Shire and Sanofi saw their stock prices increase as well.
Biotech and pharmaceutical firms have often been on the receiving end of criticism from seeing their drug prices inflate for life saving treatments.
It may be reasonable to assume that controlling the prices of drugs will not be a top concern for businessman Donald Trump, which could in turn be healthy for the bank balances of those companies, but maybe not so great for the sufferers of illnesses requiring those drugs.
However some voice the opinion that Donald Trump would not be uncritically in favor of a drug company hiking up its prices by 5000% overnight either.
Bob Phillips, the MD of the Spectrum Management Group believes that;
“There will still be a lot of scrutiny on drug prices under Trump since health care costs are rising faster than many other parts of the economy.”
Because firstly and foremost, Donald Trump is a populist and he knows that moves like this are not going to be popular. So it may not be as much doom and gloom as some people would automatically assume.
A lot of this all hinges on what happens to ObamaCare, which is still very much up-in-the-air and a changing by the minute situation.
- FUNDING FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AND INVESTMENT
Of course, the second major area of concern regarding a Donald Trump presidency in the arena of biotech is that of continued government funding.
Is this likely to continue in the Trump era? The science projects ushered in during President Obama’s time like the BRAIN Initiative, the ‘cancer moonshot’ have hitherto enjoyed support from both Republicans and Democrats.
But there are some in the Republicans who do not favor federal spending in this area and it remains to be seen who President Trump will side with.