Investing Assets & Markets Exchange-Traded Funds Use Pharmaceutical ETFs to Invest in the Pharma Sector By Mark Kennedy Mark Kennedy Mark Kennedy is an expert in investment and exchange-traded funds. He was an ETF options trader on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange floor and Vice President of Derivatives Trading for Goldman Sachs. Kennedy's trading positions were not limited to the oil ETF but included other ETFs such as the Qs. learn about our editorial policies Updated on July 1, 2022 Reviewed by Amilcar Chavarria Reviewed by Amilcar Chavarria Amilcar Chavarria is a fintech and blockchain entrepreneur with expertise in cryptocurrency, blockchain, fintech, investing, and personal finance. learn about our financial review board Fact checked by David Rubin Fact checked by David Rubin Facebook Instagram Twitter David J. Rubin is a fact checker for The Balance with more than 30 years in editing and publishing. The majority of his experience lies within the legal and financial spaces. At legal publisher Matthew Bender & Co./LexisNexis, he was a manager of R&D, programmer analyst, and senior copy editor. learn about our editorial policies The pharmaceutical industry contains many large and powerful companies. Ongoing advancements in medicine lead to new drugs being tested and created each day. But in some cases, these companies produce medications that have recalls, dangerous side effects, or fail to produce results as advertised. Key Takeaways The size and volatility of the pharmaceutical sector can lead to many profitable trading opportunities.Be sure to research a few pharmaceutical ETFs to see if they make sense for your portfolio.ETFs come with many advantages over mutual funds. These include lower fees, easier transactions than indexes, and better sector diversification than individual stocks. Why ETFs? As an investor, the size and volatility of the pharma sector can lead to many profitable trading opportunities. If you feel that your portfolio could benefit from some exposure to this sector, you can invest in this industry in a few different ways. You might consider buying individual pharma company stocks. Perhaps this is an index, or even a mutual fund that targets certain niches or samples the overall sector. But you won't want to miss out on the potential benefits of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Be sure to research a few pharmaceutical ETFs to see if they make sense for you. ETFs come with many advantages over mutual funds. These include lower fees, easier transactions than indexes, and better sector diversification than individual stocks. They also offer tax benefits, such as lower capital gains taxes due to less trading within the fund. If you're looking for instant exposure to the pharma sector with one simple transaction, a pharmaceutical ETF may be the way to go. To help you do some research to make a more informed decision, the following list includes a selection of pharma ETFs to help you get started. Take the time to check out each fund. That way, you can figure out which might be right for you. IHE: iShares Dow Jones US Pharmaceuticals ETF This pharma ETF tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Pharmaceuticals Index, and some of the top holdings include Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck. PJP: Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF This pharmaceutical ETF follows the Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Intellidex Index. Some of the top holdings in this fund are Amgen, Gilead Sciences, Pfizer, and Merck. XPH: SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF This SPDR correlates with the S&P Pharmaceuticals Select Industry Index (SPSIPHTR). This ETF's top holdings include Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, and Merck. Do Your Due Diligence Before making any trades, make sure to consult your financial advisor, your broker, or a financial professional. Research each pharma ETF individually and have a good feel for how the funds work and how they react to different market conditions. As with any investment (ETF or otherwise), conduct the due diligence necessary to make the right decisions based on your risks and your goals. No investment is risk-free, so make sure you are aware of the pros and cons of any trade or in this case pharmaceutical ETF. If you’re looking for some related ETFs, the following two lists can get you started. The first list includes healthcare ETFs, along with an additional list of biotechnology ETFs. List of Health Care ETFs CURE: Direxion Daily Healthcare Bull 3X Shares ETFFXH: First Trust Health Care AlphaDEX ETFIHF: iShares U.S. Health Care Provider ETFIXJ: iShares Global Healthcare Sector ETFIYH: iShares U.S. Healthcare ETFPTH: Invesco DWA Healthcare Momentum ETFRXD: ProShares UltraShort Health Care ETFRXL: ProShares Ultra Health Care ETFRYH: Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Health Care ETFVHT: Vanguard Health Care ETFXHE: SPDR S&P Health Care Equipment ETFXHS: SPDR S&P Health Care Services ETF List of Biotechnology ETFs BBH: VanEck Vectors Biotech ETFBIB: ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology ETFBIS: ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotechnology ETFFBT: First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund IBB: iShares Biotechnology ETFPBE: Invesco Dynamic Biotechnology & Genome ETFXBI: SPDR S&P Biotech ETF Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Investor Bulletin: Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)." iShares. "iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF." Invesco. "Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF." State Street Global Advisors. "SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF."