One minute Dow Jones industrial average component Merck (MRK) might be doing battle with fellow drugmaker Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) over drugs that can ward off cancer.
The next, biotech giants like Amgen (AMGN) and Sanofi (SNY) are tussling in court over the fate of cholesterol-busting drugs. Meanwhile, a company like Gilead Sciences (GILD) might be raked over the coals in Congress for charging $1,000 a day to treat hepatitis.
It’s a brave — and contentious — new world for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. It’s a realm where science is trying to develop landmark medicines that cure cancer. Think Novocure (NVCR), hepatitis and other life-threatening illnesses.
All the while it does a delicate dance with Wall Street and regulators — balancing public health issues with the demands of shareholders. Investors will find it tricky to navigate the sector, as companies can rise and fall at the drop of a hat.
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