After the initial shock over the news that Donald Trump won the 2016 election, much of the global stock markets almost immediately re-stabilized within 48 hours or less. However, the Big Pharma and Biotech Industries may have an even bigger cause for celebration, which could trickle down to the vaping industry, if everyone plays their cards right.
In the latest update to the healthcare section of the President-Elect’s website, Trump claims that his administration will not only repeal and replace Obamacare, but they will also modernize Medicare and “reform the Food and Drug Administration, to put greater focus on the need of patients for new and innovative medical products.” For the vaping industry, nothing could be more “innovative” than electronic cigarettes and vaping technology to end the global addiction to smoking tobacco. Is there a window of opportunity opening?
What does Trump mean by ‘FDA reform?’
While the healthcare update is somewhat vague and short on detail, many on Wall Street are reading this statement of FDA reform as a forewarning that Big Pharma and Biotech stocks may witness a substantial boom in the coming months. Even on the campaign trail, Trump and the Republican Party have been notoriously outspoken about their desire to deregulate all areas of commerce related to Obamacare, including pharmaceutical companies, drug pricing, healthcare insurance companies, and especially the FDA itself.
However, with no specific mentioning of e-cigs or vaping in the new Trump update, the vaping industry should remain hopeful but cautious. The Trump Administration’s current focus of FDA reform seems to primarily target the need to speed up the FDA’s approval process for getting more meds on the market. Meanwhile, the Republican Party is not well-known for wanting to regulate or reform the pricing of prescription drugs. In short, they historically like the idea of Big Pharma getting more drugs on the market at a faster rate but have no real desire to control or limit the prices.
Why this could be good for the vaping industry?
Big Pharma is one of the most powerful adversaries of the vaping industry. Once e-cigarettes became wildly popular over the past decade, the revenues from traditional nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine gum, lozenges, and “the patch” began to decline. Those alternatives are manufactured and distributed by Big Pharma companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson.
Big Pharma wanted to eliminate the competition – the vaping industry – but there is one thing they wanted even more. They wanted to avoid drug price regulation by the Democrats related to the then-impending passage of Obamacare and the Affordable Healthcare Act. As a result, Big Pharma was spending billions of dollars fighting Obamacare without much regard to the vaping industry. That is, until Obama cut them a deal.
Obama said that Big Pharma would only have to reduce their prices a little, but in exchange, they could place one of their Head Honchos in charge of the new branch of the FDA called the Center for Tobacco Products. Big Pharma chose Mitch Zeller from GlaxoSmithKline, and the Obama Administration gave him full reign over the new agency. And Mitch Zeller is the man most responsible for creating the new FDA deeming regulations that threaten to wipe out the entire vaping industry by 2018.
Trump hates smokers, and Trump loves making deals.
If Trump repeals and replaces Obamacare with something more Big-Pharma-friendly, perhaps he can also convince companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson to lay off the vaping industry as a quid-pro-quo. Trump hates smokers, and Trump loves making deals. Even better, Trump seemingly hates Obama, and the FDA deeming regulations were Obama’s baby.
If the vaping industry can rally and organize in time to take advantage of this tremendous window of opportunity to educate the Trump Administration on the numerous public health benefits of vaping and e-cigs, then the sky is the limit. But the time to strike is now. The window of opportunity is closing fast.
The Healthcare update can be located on the GreatAgain.gov website.
Article Credit: Matt Rowland