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Price-Gouging Drug Company CEOs Must Answer for Their Sky-High Pay


Price-Gouging Drug Company CEOs Must Answer for Their Sky-High Pay

Kim Lehmkuhl

It’s clear to everyone who cares to look that prescription drug price gouging is literally killing patients. Health care executives -- at Big Pharma and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) alike -- are moving an inelastic product their customers can’t live without.



This would’ve been a great argument for nationalizing pharmaceutical production. Liberals. They just can’t take that last step.

“90 percent of the work is on the public dime. So, um, like, we should not let corporations make so much…”

Really? That’s the lesson?



Lehmkuhl sez:
“The American public erroneously believes the average gap for CEO to unskilled worker pay is just 30:1.”

WTactualF? Those are pre-Raygun numbers. Where is the “American public” getting its info?

Oh, right …



“With Big Pharma now fully financialized, executives are spending their time looking for opportunities to extract value—including through massive share buybacks—rather than focusing on ways to create it.”

Financialization, or more truthfully hyper-financialization, is at the root of many of the scourges against society today. REGULATE SOON and REGULATE OFTEN!

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What are all these rich CEOs and pharma companies doing with all them big profits? Well for one thing they have decided its best to buy all the politicians you can right off the top so they can pedal the company lies to the general public thru their bought and paid for congressmen, senators, president, governors etc etc…This is why big pharma rules. They take the bacon and spread it around and the lies get told and we get the shaft. Everytime a politician tells ya that prices are high because of expensive drug research you reach over and smack him in the head for lying because he has just told you he is an employee of big pharma…VOTE his ass out you stupid fuks. If they take money from the health care industry and you vote for them your stupid as a bag of hamberders.

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I agree. Our government labs should have taken over production, research and development, along with distribution decades ago.
This is where a socialist policy is good for the country, if it ever happens.



Must be why all the drug developments for the past 50 years have come from socialist countries.



Are you saying that our big American drug companies like Pfizer and Eli Lilly, are not producing state-of-the-art medications?



Kim needs to get some basic facts straight. They article cited https://newrepublic.com/article/149438/big-pharma-captured-one-percent notes that there was $1 trillion spent by government since 1938, not the

tens of trillions of taxpayer dollars allocated annually to government research, and particularly to scientific innovation driven by the National Institutes of Health.

she claims.

Second, she should realize that the cost of stock compensation is not paid by those who purchase the drugs, but rather by the shareholders. There is no cash cost to the company of equity compensation. The cost is born by shareholders through the dilution of earnings and value (think of it as making additional slices in the pie). Only to the extent that a company purchases shares in the open market is there any cost to the company. Additionally, the shareholders regularly approve those compensation packages. Of more than 2,000 say on pay votes in 2018, 61 companies failed them, and 8 of them were in the health care sector https://www.shallpartners.com/our-thinking/short-takes/companies-that-failed-say-on-pay-in-2018/, so I’d say shareholders are relatively comfortable with those payments.

As far as “ending the monopoly pipeline”, does the author believe we should end other patents as well?

And as for having a impact on the price of drugs, note that the total CEO pay for AbbVie, Pfizer and J&J cited was about $80 million. The total sales were $161.6 billion for the three companies. If the CEOs took no compensation whatsoever, it would reduce costs by less that 0.05%. The effect of CEO pay on drug prices is effectively nil



My only quibble. People should have taken over production and distribution. The govt will ensure that bureaucracy takes the place of real people. They will enable the wealthy idiot CEO’s. We the people have to fight to take it all back.



If you hire and keep employees like the ones that run SSI, medicare, and medicaid we should be able to prevent cabinet administration infiltration.
And bureaucrats are just people like your postal carrier, except with a bigger pay check.



And what should be done with the Sackler family of Purdue and their Oxycontin?
Maybe the government should start taking over that family business…as they have profited so much on the deaths from oxycontin. I read that the trial will show the family knew of its detrimental effects—but that their communications said PROFITS would be great by undertaking production of that drug. Sadly the story ends with undertakers and dead oxycontin users.



great response



what a bunch of bullshit … i was married to someone who worked for Pfizer …her boss had no kids they had a mcmansion and at their holiday xmas party hired a fucking piano player to entertain their fellow executives.

Fuck you and horse you rode in on dip shit



No, I’m saying socialist countries have not been in the forefront of developing new drugs and treatments. It’s called sarcasm



to quote you, “great response”

What does anything you said pertain to any of the arguments, other than the fact that you resent someone who has more money than you?



The innovations aren’t happening at the BigPharma companies as much as you think - although they do end up with the patents and the profits. A study of all of the drugs approved by the FDA to Big Pharma companies over a decade period found that 61% of the scientifically innovative drugs originated in academia or small biotech firms (i.e. this would not count approvals for things like liquid forms of a drug previously in capsule form; see Nature Reviews Drug Discovery volume 9 p. 867). As a biostatistician, I have personally been involved in several such situations.



Dennis, I know the inventions are mostly taking place at small biotechs, usually started by a doctor or a professor with an idea and some venture capital backers.

It does nothing to undermine the fact that socialist countries are not in the forefront of drug development.



Sorry - I thought your comment was intended to be a back-handed way of praising the innovations of Big Pharma since the article was focused on Big Pharma.

Regarding “socialist countries” - that very much depends on your definition of “socialist”. Democratic Socialist/ Social Democratic countries like Denmark and Sweden are indeed at the forefront of drug development. Those two countries beat the U.S. on drug development per capita by a good deal.



Dennis, you and I both know that Denmark and Sweden are not “socialist” countries. They’re capitalist countries with very strong social safety nets.

As for Big Pharma, I think we also both know that no one should look for ground-breaking innovation inside anything that has the word “Big” in the description!