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Mallinckrodt CEO Mark Trudeau. Photo: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Last year, drug company Mallinckrodt paid its top five executives nearly $33 million, including $15 million to CEO Mark Trudeau.

Why it matters: Last year, Mallinckrodt filed for bankruptcy, faced numerous opioid lawsuits, and shelled out $640 million in underpaid rebates to the federal government — all problems that have come under the watch of executives receiving these lavish pay packages.

Between the lines: Mallinckrodt has been full of controversy for several years.

  • In 2014, Trudeau led the company's $6.5 billion acquisition of Questcor, which made anti-inflammatory medication Acthar Gel.
  • Acthar's clinical benefits are minimal to nonexistent, but that hasn't stopped Mallinckrodt from hiking the drug's list price to roughly $40,000 a vial and paying doctors to prescribe it.
  • Now the company is hanging on by a thread, starting a bankruptcy plan that involves $1.6 billion to settle opioid claims and an additional $260 million to settle Medicaid rebates for Acthar.

What they're saying: Mallinckrodt declined to comment. But the company justified the pay packages in federal filings, saying they were necessary "to stabilize the executive leadership team and reduce the possibility of further turnover during a critical time at the company."

Go deeper

Starbucks drops worker vaccine mandate after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks announced in a memo to employees Tuesday that it has dropped plans to implement a vaccine mandate for all U.S. workers, AP reported on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

1 hour ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker

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