With biotech stocks getting smashed on the stock market and big pharma getting hammered on the presidential campaign trail, generic drug stocks look awfully appealing, said James Duffy, product manager at Van Eck Global. 'Generics will benefit from the ongoing push to lower healthcare costs,' said Duffy. 'Another good reason is the big push now into biosimilars, the generic forms of the big biotech drugs which we have been hearing so much about over the past 10 or 15 years.' Last month Van Eck introduced the Market Vectors Generic Drugs exchange traded fund (GNRX), the first ETF to target global manufacturers of generic drugs and biosimilars. Shares of the fund are down almost 9% since the fund’s January 13th launch. Duffy pointed out that according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, 88% of the drugs dispensed in the U.S. are generics. He added that spending on generics, as a percentage of drugs distributed globally, is expected to increase from 40% in 2013 to 46 percent in 2018. One of the benefits of the GNRX, in Duffy’s view is the international diversification of the fund. As of December 31st, 39% of the constituents in GNRX’s underlying index were domiciled in the United States, with India, Israel, South Korea and Japan, having the next largest country weightings, respectively.
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