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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New annual financial documents for large health care companies are rolling in with a familiar tune: executives took home large paydays in 2019 that mostly came from large stock gains.

The bottom line: The health care system is a firehose of spending, and a good chunk of that money always makes its way to the top.

By the numbers: 10 major health care companies have filed preliminary or final disclosures outlining executive pay in 2019. The CEOs at those firms made more than $300 million collectively, according to our updated tracker of health care executive compensation.

  • Ari Bousbib, CEO of pharmaceutical data and clinical trial firm IQVIA, made more than $104 million last year, based on the actual realized gains of his stock holdings.
  • Right behind were Intuitive Surgical CEO Gary Guthart at $50.5 million and Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks at $30.8 million.

What we're watching: Filings will continue to be released over the next two months. Follow along.

Go deeper: What health care executives made in 2018

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

5 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.