This column was originally published on RealMoney on May 10 at 8:17 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here.
"Psychiatrists, Troubled Children and Drug Industry's Role," screams the headline in today's
New York Times
. In today's
Wall Street Journal
: " Suit Details How J&J Pushed Sales of Procrit." The influential and prestigious
New England Journal of Medicine
questions the efficacy of one of the few bright stars of the big pharma firmament,
Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration questions
Provenge in another part of the paper. And then the lead story in Wednesday's
New York Times
Johnson & Johnson
paying doctors to dole out anemia drugs.
The drug stocks have had a magnificent run here, a stupendous run, courtesy of a weak dollar, a
that shows no signs of wanting to make the economy grow faster and gigantic layoffs of layers of staff left over from the heyday.
I still favor most of them because they haven't gotten stretched in valuations yet.
seems cheap to me, still. I think Fred Hassan has done a remarkable job at
and I believe
will get a bid.
But I also believe that it is time to reassess the political risk of this industry. Next year is an election year. There are tons of Democrats vying for the nomination. They all have been clustered around pretty much the same issues.
If I were one of them, I would go after big pharma with everything I had. I would talk about how the execs made huge amounts of money -- Hank McKinnell, Mr. "I will fix the nation's health care policy while taking $200 million from
shareholders for doing nothing" being exhibit A -- while paying off doctors to give you drugs that don't work or have harsh side effects.
It is such a natural, heck,
should run for office on it.
Much of the huge run we have had in this group came from a relief rally after the stocks had been sent into purgatory over a fear of a Democrat sweep in Congress. We got the sweep but nothing bad happened right away for drugmakers.
I am now saying that if you are fully weighted in these stocks
which has been the right thing to do
, you need to pay attention again to the front page of
The New York Times
, not just the research.
There are too many bad headlines out there now
to reassess the headline risk.
Here come all of those horrible headlines on retailers, as predicted. All of the stocks are looking weak. Watch for the moment when the puts start being sold and get ready to buy in-the-money June calls for the upside. But don't jump the gun, these numbers are ugly.
At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this post.
Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
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