Weekend update

Well, we finally have reached the week in which the national election occurs to be followed by the week in which the Federal Benefits Open Season and the lame duck session of Congress starts.

The Wall Street Journal observes that the outcome of the national election could prove “cathartic” to healthcare stocks.

Health-care stocks are the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 so far this year, with shares down 7.7% compared with the broader index’s 2% gain as investors fretted about everything from Obamacare to drug prices. * * *

It isn’t the first time that health-care stocks have declined heading into an election. The biotech index has pulled back ahead of the past five presidential elections, including 2016, according to research by RBC Capital Markets. In the past four elections, it then rallied 10% to 15% from the election through roughly the next three months.

This movement strikes the FEHBlog as illustrating the federal government’s powerful impact on the health care sector.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from the Supreme Court of Missouri which involves an issue concerning the scope of the FEHBA’s state law preemption provision. The state court reached a conclusion which favored its state bar association. All of the federal courts of appeals which have considered the same issue — including the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Missouri — have reached a conclusion that favors the FEHBP.  The Supreme Court should resolve the issue before July 2017.

The Washington Post on Friday wrote about a public spirited prescription drug development company called Trek Therapeutics.

Instead of hiring a small army of scientists and building an expensive laboratory, Trek is a virtual, 10-person company that operates out of a small incubator space in Cambridge, Mass. The company acquires experimental drugs that typically have been vetted through some degree of human testing.

It’s an interesting piece.