This ETF is one of several options for achieving exposure to the pharma industry, a corner of the health care market that is capable of delivering big returns but that also comes with some unique risk factors. Given this investment objective, PPH is probably more useful for those looking to achieve tactical exposure to this specific corner of the market; the appeal to buy-and-holders will be limited since many of the components are included in more broad-based funds.
A couple aspects of PPH are noteworthy. First, though PPH is now structured as a true ETF, it used to be one of the HOLDRS products offered by Merrill Lynch. Some of the concentration that was characteristic of those products remains in PPH; the portfolio is relatively shallow and concentration in the top allocations is significant. Further, PPH includes only U.S. stocks, meaning that some of the biggest players in the pharmaceutical industry are excluded from the underlying portfolio.
PPH is a decent option for pharma exposure, but there are probably some better ETFs out there for tapping into this segment of the market. IHE offers better depth of holdings, while DRGS may be appealing to those looking to achieve truly global exposure.