Gilead Sciences

Pharma's research budgets are usually bigger than its profits

Data: Company filings; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The biggest drug companies generally spend more money on research than they keep in profits — although their profits are still healthy.

Why it matters: Drugmakers often invoke their research costs as they try to fend off any limits on their prices, and that spending isn't insignificant. But the industry's steady profit margins are still an attractive target for critics.

Gilead taps Roche pharma exec as new CEO

Gilead Sciences logo on a cell phone screen.
Gilead is known for making hepatitis C and HIV medicines. Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences has named Daniel O'Day, the chief of Roche's pharmaceuticals unit, as its new CEO, effective March 1.

Why it matters: Gilead is one of the largest and most profitable drug manufacturers on the planet, known for its hepatitis C and HIV medicines. O'Day will lead a company that has had falling sales of its hepatitis drugs and is investing more in new, expensive gene therapies.