Mar 27, 2017

Gilead execs cash in on hepatitis C drug boom

Former Gilead CEO and current Chairman John Martin (Paul Sakuma / AP)

Gilead's top executives continue to reap the benefits of the blockbuster hepatitis C drugs it acquired several years ago. In 2016, according to proxy documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, Gilead paid:

  • John Martin: $98.4 million
  • John Milligan: $57.8 million

Those figures represent the actual value of stock vested in 2016, not estimated fair value.

Milligan took over as CEO in March 2016, replacing Martin, who now serves as executive chairman. Martin has taken home $523 million since 2014, when Gilead started selling both of its hepatitis C drugs, Sovaldi and Harvoni. A vast majority of Martin's pay has come in the form of cashed-in stock.

Why this matters: Gilead's executive pay fans the flames of the U.S. drug pricing debate. Consumers and lawmakers have lambasted the company, arguing the high drug prices are unjustified and lock people out of medicine that cures hepatitis C. The list prices are $84,000 for Sovaldi and $94,500 for Harvoni, or more than $1,000 per pill for the usual 12-week treatment, but after discounts and rebates the price is a little more than half that.

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Addressing his supporters via livestream after suspending his campaign, Bernie Sanders congratulated Joe Biden on his presumptive victory in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary while making clear that his fight for progressive ideas will not end with his candidacy.

What he's saying: "While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that 'the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.' The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about."

Fed temporarily lifts Wells Fargo's growth restrictions

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The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will temporarily lift Wells Fargo’s growth restrictions, which were put in place following the bank’s customer abuse scandals.

Why it matters: The Fed’s only reason for lifting the cap is so Wells Fargo can dole out more loans to struggling small businesses as part of the government’s coronavirus aid package. Earlier this week, the bank said it could only lend a total of $10 billion, thanks to Fed restrictions that it can’t grow its assets beyond $1.95 trillion.

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