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Short Sellers Grow More Selective in Big Pharma

September 25, 2019 / Chris Lange

Pharmaceutical companies usually are involved in a lengthy process of getting their drug candidates to market through clinical trials. There is a fair amount of risk involved, should a study come back negative or a candidate not be approved. Conversely, if a drug gains FDA approval or passes a clinical trial, there can be big upside. The White House has promised reforms in the health care sector, such as changing the bidding process for drugs and shortening the FDA approval process. It is yet to be seen how much headway it actually can make with these reforms. Keep in mind that short sellers betting against big pharma are taking on an added risk. They have to pay out the ongoing high dividends on top of the cost of borrowing the shares. The September 13 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest moves in these selected pharmaceutical stocks were mixed.