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Big payday for top exec of drug distributor

Katy Warner / Wikimedia Commons

Steven Collis, longtime chief executive officer of drug distributor AmerisourceBergen, made more than $32 million in his company's 2016 fiscal year, per a federal filing released Friday. That total includes the actual realized gains from Collis' stock options, not the estimated fair value, as well as his salary and bonuses.

For Collis, his payday was actually lower than the year before, when he took home more than $34 million.

Why it matters: Business was good for AmerisourceBergen, which delivers drugs to pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and other health care sites and may be the largest company you've never heard of. The company netted a $1.4 billion profit on $147 billion of revenue last year. That means AmerisourceBergen is twice as big as companies like Procter & Gamble or Target.

Similar to pharmacy benefit managers, drug distributors thrive on higher drug prices, which has stoked public outrage and may invite federal regulation. They also don't get nearly the same scrutiny as the drug companies that list the prices.

AmerisourceBergen was upfront with investors in November about what will happen if drug prices get targeted. "If the frequency or rate of branded and generic pharmaceutical price increases slows, our results of operations could be adversely affected," the company said in its annual 10-K filing.