The election and slowing drug sales: 6 things to know about the rocky week for big pharma

While many drug investors are growing nervous about the upcoming election, the most recent earnings season conjures up new concerns for the pharmaceutical industry in regard to the slowdown in sales of key blockbuster drugs, reported The Wall Street Journal.

A main contributor to this slump is the large political backlash drugmakers face about high drugs prices, according to the report.

Here are six things to know.

  1. Since price scrutiny first evolved in September 2015, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index dropped almost 30 percent, reports WSJ.

  1. On Tuesday, Gilead Sciences said sales of its hepatitis C drugs, which made headlines for their high prices, dropped 31 percent in the third quarter of 2016. New competition in the hepatitis C market has allowed payers to fight back against the treatments' high prices, according to the report.

  1. Pfizer reported $550 million in sales of its breast cancer drug Ibrance for the third quarter of this year. Analysts expected sales of $576 million.

  1. Abbvie's anti-inflammatory treatment Humira, which WSJ calls the world's top-selling drug, showed an 11 percent growth in global sales for the third quarter of 2016, although figures failed to meet analyst expectations and caused the drugmaker's stock to fall.

  1. While Amgen said it expects a modest sales benefit from price increases next year on Enbrell — a rival to Humira — the company's volume growth was flat in the third quarter of this year, according to the report.

  1. While investors usually prefer companies with easily predictable growth prospects, this industrywide slowdown on blockbuster drug sales demonstrates the difficulty of predicting economically significantly breakthroughs in the drug industry, reports WSJ.

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