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Mole writes: "In a recent three-week span, the company hiked 116 drug prices as much as 9.46 percent."

Ian Read, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer Inc. (photo: Bloomberg)
Ian Read, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer Inc. (photo: Bloomberg)

Pfizer CEO Gets 61% Pay Raise - to $27.9 Million - as Drug Prices Continue to Climb

By Beth Mole, Ars Technica

23 March 18

In a recent three-week span, the company hiked 116 drug prices as much as 9.46 percent.

s drug giant Pfizer Inc. hiked the price of dozens of drugs in 2017, it also jacked up the compensation of CEO Ian Read by 61 percent, putting his total compensation at $27.9 million, according to financial filings reported by Bloomberg.

Pfizer’s board reportedly approved the compensation boost because they saw it as a “compelling incentive” to keep Read from retiring. He turns 65 in May. As part of the deal, Read has to stay on through at least next March and is barred from working with a competitor for a minimum of two years after that.

According to Bloomberg, Read’s compensation included in part a salary of $1.96 million, a $2.6 million bonus, $13.1 million in equity awards linked to financial goals and stock price, as well as an $8 million special equity award that will vest if the company’s average stock return goes above 25 percent for 30 consecutive trading days before the end of 2022.

In 2016, Read’s compensation totaled $17.3 million.

The 61 percent raise comes after a string of separate reports noting drug price increases by Pfizer. In January, FiercePharma reported an analysis finding that Pfizer implemented 116 price hikes just between this past December 15 and January 3 of this year. The list price increases ranged from 3 percent to 9.46 percent. The analysts noted that Pfizer increased the price of 20 drugs by 9.44 percent. Those included Viagra, Pristiq, Lipitor, and Zoloft, which are available as generics, as well as Chantix.

Additionally, Pfizer had increased the prices of 91 drugs by an average of 20 percent in just the first half of 2017, according to data first reported by Financial Times. That included two waves of price hikes, one in January and the other on June 1.

That echoes the pattern seen in 2016, 2015, and 2014, according to a report by STAT. In June of 2016, Pfizer raised the list prices of its medicines by an average of 8.8 percent. That followed an average 10.4 percent raise in list prices in January of that year.

In response to the price hikes reported earlier this year, a Pfizer spokesperson told FiercePharma that the company “takes a measured and responsible approach to pricing.” The spokesperson added that Pfizer provides assistance programs to some eligible patients with financial hardships. However, such discount and assistance programs don't spare insurance companies from picking up larger tabs, which contributes to higher premiums and system-wide costs.

Pfizer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Ars.

The price hikes come amid a national outrage over the high prices of medications and healthcare overall. A recent analysis published in JAMA compared healthcare spending in the US to 10 other high-income countries. It found that the US paid nearly twice as much but performed less well. The main drivers of higher prices, researchers found, were high administrative costs and devices and pricy medicines. your social media marketing partner


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+19 # ddd-rrr 2018-03-23 10:18
Oh, golly, I guess that an income of many millions a year is just too little
for such a CEO, so the rest of us must somehow contribute more
in the form of higher drug prices and higher insurance costs
to satisfy the greed of such "needy" people...


It's time for some systemic changes to occur in the drug industry.
+8 # sayvsdo 2018-03-23 23:39
That's the way things are in the gilded age/robber baron era. Wait isn't this 2018 and isn't that morally reprehensible, when 65% of Americans can't handle a $1000 emergency.
+7 # Wise woman 2018-03-24 04:29
How many indignities must we are the people suffer before this rotten system is tossed into the compost pile? At least there it could serve some good. As it stands now, try not to get sick in America. You might not ever recover.
+9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-03-24 07:23
There was a discussion on RSN of maximum wage laws. Here is the first case in point.

In the middle of the 20th century there were maximum wage laws. This was accomplished by the progressive income tax scale. At $27.9 million he would have been in the 90% tax bracket. So he would have received $2.79 million for himself and $25.11 million would have gone to the government to pay for things like construction of the interstate highway system, free colleges, healthcare for all, and other such things. There is a way to do this.
+3 # sayvsdo 2018-03-25 02:39
Wow that's an eye opening point you make! As things are now, if there ever is an infrastructure program proposed by the neocons and neoliberals (PREDATORY CAPITALISTS) it will be sold to us as a private/public partnership. IE, private companies make off with public funds. Franklin Roosevelt style progressivism coupled with Teddy Roosevelt style monopoly busting is the only answer.
+1 # Salus Populi 2018-03-26 20:40
Yep, and in 1944, having gotten a minimum wage passed, FDR proposed a maximum income in the form of a 100 per cent -- that is, confiscatory -- tax on all personal income above $25,000. [The economy and salaries were much lower then.]

Congress balked, but nonetheless passed a 94 per cent top level income tax, which remained above 90 per cent throughout the Truman and Eisenhower years, then was reduced to 70 per cent under JFK, to 50 per cent under Carter, and down to its current dismally low rate under the five neocon/neolib presidents subsequently.

Instead of "tax increase," the proponents ought to speak of "restoration of the tax rate under Ike," and educate people that what is being talked about is simply making the people who have virtually all the money, thanks to government policies that their lobbyists bribed the government into passing, pay their fair share -- which, since they reap the overwhelming majority of the benefits of government policies, should be an overwhelming share of the costs.
+9 # hiker 2018-03-24 09:07
Well, here's the first 'drug dealer' that deserves Trump's death sentence.
+8 # GreenBee 2018-03-24 14:00
Quoting hiker:
Well, here's the first 'drug dealer' that deserves Trump's death sentence.

I wanted to "like" this comment, but I am against the death penalty. Yet, sentencing him to a life in poverty would work for me, and I think it would be a far more difficult and painful sentence for this type of predator.
+9 # hiker 2018-03-24 17:28
[qsentencing him to a life in poverty would work for me, and I think it would be a far more difficult and painful sentence for this type of predator.

I completely agree. I was just highlighting Trump's ridiculous idea.
0 # chapdrum 2018-03-26 18:08
Hiking drug prices is legal.
The system works.

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