Latest News | Sep 29, 2021

New Data: CEOs Of Drug Corporations Who Wrote To Congress Were Paid $400 Million Collectively Last Year; Individual CEOs Had Average Compensation 185 Times The Average American Household

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to a recent letter to Congress penned by executives from 33 pharmaceutical corporations opposing Medicare negotiation to lower the prices of drugs, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now released a new data set exposing Big Pharma executives’ outrageous paychecks on the backs of American patients. The new data shows that total compensation for Big Pharma CEOs totalled $400 million, the average compensation for Big Pharma CEOs in 2020 was $12.5 million, or 185 times that of the average American household and 420 times the income of Medicare beneficiaries. The report also shows that 19 of 33 companies are based in foreign countries, where they charge less than half what they charge Americans for the same drugs.

The PhRMA letter, filled with false claims about the impact of negotiation, asks Congress to let multinational drug corporations continue to have the power to dictate prices of brand-name drugs in America. They want U.S. citizens to continue supplying almost half of their revenue, underwriting the lion’s share of their compensation. It’s no wonder these CEOs are desperate to block reforms to the system in which American patients and taxpayers shoulder a huge and disproportionate burden. Collectively, the CEOs were paid $400 million last year. 

“These multi-millionaire Big Pharma CEOs are tone-deaf. They are literally telling Congress that it should continue to allow them the power to continue to exploit the American people by raising prices ever higher at will,” said David Mitchell, a patient with incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “They want Americans to be their piggy bank to fund unjustified profits and lavish compensation packages. And this comes from companies of which more than half are foreign-based, and that charge far lower prices in their countries abroad.”

View the data set here

The data set was prepared for and issued on behalf of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, a community of more than 360,000 patients and allies. It was also distributed to congressional offices today.

Meanwhile, the House Ways And Means Committee recently voted to advance H.R. 3, a comprehensive bill that allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices, as part of the reconciliation package. The Senate Finance Committee is also currently drafting legislation that will allow Medicare to negotiate, which would deliver on the president’s Build Back Better plan under rules of reconciliation.


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, in response to Chairs Maloney and Pallone’s announcement that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will investigate the approval and pricing of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm:

“Once again, Chairs Maloney and Pallone are taking the lead in fighting for patients by investigating the ‘steep price of Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm and the process that led to its approval despite questions about the drug’s clinical benefit.’

“As patients, we are eager for new treatments for Alzheimer’s and other diseases with unmet need, but a price of $56,000 is simply, as the Alzheimer’s Association puts it, ‘unacceptable.’ Aduhelm is the poster child demonstrating the need for H.R. 3 and Medicare negotiation to curb the unilateral power of drug corporations to set prices as high as they think they can get away with. We are very grateful to Chairs Maloney and Pallone for their continued leadership in support of innovation patients need at prices we can afford.”