In addition to bullish outlooks for generic drugs and Health IT, President-Elect Obama's healthcare plan is set to focus on public health initiatives and mandated coverage of preventive services such as cancer screenings. The accompanying table (click to enlarge) presents statistics and the top five rated companies in the ETFI Preventive Medicine Index, including vaccine makers such as Emergent BioSolutions (EBS), diabetes care companies such as Novo Nordisk (NVO), diagnostic companies such as Sequenom (SQNM) and Myriad Genetics (MYGN), and lab services companies such as Genoptix (GXDX), LabCorp (LH), and Quest Diagnostics (DGX).
The index has outpaced the overall market, healthcare sector SPYDR (XLV), HealthShares Diagnostics (HHD), and iShares Nasdaq Biotech (IBB) over the past year, posting an 8% gain for the top 25 rated companies and a 12.4% loss for all 54 companies. Although the index includes diagnostic companies, only eight of the 25 top rated companies are duplicates with the existing HealthShares Diagnostics ETF.
Diabetes care companies are included in the index since the complications of uncontrolled diabetes result in not only terrible health consequences, but are very costly to manage. Also, the incidence of diabetes is rising at an alarming rate due to the prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles in the U.S. and other developed markets.