Executive compensation

Scott Gottlieb joins Pfizer's board

Scott Gottlieb speaks at a public event.
Scott Gottlieb is getting closer to the industry he regulated. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Pfizer, which has clashed with President Trump over drug prices, has appointed former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb to its board of directors. The role pays $335,000 annually in cash and stock.

The big picture: Since leaving the Trump administration roughly 3 months ago, Gottlieb has rejoined a conservative think tank and a venture capital firm that has pharmaceutical investments. Cycling between public office and well-paying private sector companies has become commonplace among FDA officials as well as other top health agency leaders.

Health care CEOs took home $2.6 billion in 2018

Illustration of George Washington, from the dollar bill, wearing a stethoscope
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The chief executives of 177 health care companies collectively made $2.6 billion in 2018 — roughly $700 million more than what the National Institutes of Health spent researching Alzheimer's disease last year, according to a new Axios analysis of financial filings.

Why it matters: The pay packages reveal the health care system's real incentives: finding ways to boost revenue and stock value by raising prices, filling more hospital beds, and selling more drugs and devices.