Business

Massachusetts bio stocks hurting after Clinton reveals price-limiting plan

Manchester, NH- 09/18/15 - At the NH State Democratic Convention , Hillary Clinton makes a point as she speaks. Boston Globe staff photo by John Tlumacki(metro)
The Boston Globe
Hillary Clinton has amped up her criticism of drug companies, worrying investors.

Massachusetts life sciences companies have declined today after Hillary Clinton said she’d force the industry to charge lower drug prices, boost research spending, and give up tax breaks.

The top six losers of Massachusetts stocks early Tuesday afternoon were all biotech or pharmaceutical companies. Blueprint Medicines Corp. fell 15 percent and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. dropped 11.8 percent. Colucide Pharmaceuticals lost 9.5 percent of its value, and Ocular Therapeutix Inc. fell 9.2 percent.

Clinton’s campaign said Tuesday that she’d cap prescription drug costs, promote generics, and cut the life sciences industry off from tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks for marketing. The Democratic presidential candidate unveiled the plan a day after condemning a pharmaceutical company’s sudden price spike for a drug it acquired that had been used for decades to treat a rare infection.

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Major Boston-area life sciences businesses also declined. Vertex Pharmaceuticals fell 6 percent through the early afternoon. Its drugs to treat cystic fibrosis cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and are anticipated to generate billions in revenue for the company, which has spent decades researching the drugs. Biogen Inc. also declined, and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index fell 3.4 percent through the early afternoon.

Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam. Material from Bloomberg was used in this report.