CVS Health

All eyes are on the drug pricing middlemen

$100 bills being shredded into am amber medicine vial.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Pharmacy benefit managers usually operate behind the scenes, quietly influencing the 5.8 billion drug prescriptions Americans fill every year. But they'll take a step into the spotlight today.

Driving the news: The Senate Finance Committee is set to grill the industry over its role in rising drug prices, and at the same time, the Trump administration is weighing a seismic shift in how these companies get paid.

Health care CEO pay tops $1 billion in 2018 so far

Health care ceos testifiying in congress
Health care CEOS testifying in front of Senate Finance Committee in 2019. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Our latest tally shows 62 health care CEOs made a combined $1.1 billion in 2018 when calculating the actual value of cashed-out stock.

Between the lines: $1.1 billion is basically a rounding error within the $3.7 trillion U.S. health care system. But it’s also $157 million more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent in 2018 on chronic disease prevention.