Mar 6, 2020 - Health

Large pay packages rolling in for health care executives

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

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Big Pharma is on a stock buyback spree

Data: Company filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

In 2018, the year the Republican tax law went into full effect, 12 of the largest pharmaceutical companies spent more money buying back their stock than they spent on drug research and development.

The big picture: When billions of dollars became available to the biggest drug companies, their main priority was to juice earnings, along with the paydays of their executives and investors — not investments in new treatments or relief for patients who can't afford their drugs.

Go deeperArrowMar 5, 2020 - Health

Health care workers fear the coronavirus surge

Medical workers prepare to test people in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Doctors, nurses and other health care workers are afraid for their health — and in some cases their lives — as the mounting coronavirus outbreak closes in on a health care system that doesn't have enough equipment and overworks its people.

What they're saying: "It's a mess, and there's no help," Alan Roth, a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York, said last week. "We have been left out to dry."

Go deeperArrowApr 2, 2020 - Health

Nancy Pelosi to headline virtual coronavirus town hall

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will headline a virtual town hall on Facebook Tuesday that will highlight the Trump administration's "failures" in responding to the coronavirus pandemic and outline a series of new health priorities that Democrats say are needed to stem the spread of COVID-19, advocacy group Health Care Voter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Discussions on the phase 4 stimulus bill are already underway now that the $2.2 trillion rescue package has been signed into law. Several Democrats, including Pelosi, who are participating in Tuesday evening's town hall, see the legislation as an opportunity to pass new health and economic policies that failed to make it into the last deal, Democratic aides on Capitol Hill tell Axios.

Go deeperArrowMar 31, 2020 - Health