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Activists march outside of Eli Lilly's offices at Alexandria Center for Life Science in New York City on September 5, 2019 (Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

'Outrageous,' Says Bernie Sanders as Filings Show Top Healthcare CEOs Raked in Combined $300 Million in 2019

Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, vowed to "end the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and pass Medicare for All."

Jake Johnson

Annual financial filings compiled by Axios Friday show that 10 of the nation's top healthcare CEOs took home more than $300 million in combined pay in 2019, compensation that Sen. Bernie Sanders denounced as "outrageous" and indicative of the industry's greed.

"While Americans continue to pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, the top 10 healthcare CEOs made over $300 million in compensation last year," tweeted Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

"We will end the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and pass Medicare for All," added Sanders, who has been targeted by industry-backed ad campaigns against universal healthcare.

Axios reported that the executives' eye-popping compensation in 2019 "mostly came from large stock gains."

Ari Bousbib, CEO of pharmaceutical data firm IQVIA, raked in more than $104 million in 2019, according to Axios' healthcare executive compensation tracker. Gary Guthart, CEO of clinical technology firm Intuitive Surgical CEO, brought home nearly $50.5 million. David Ricks, chief executive at pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, made over $30 million.

"The healthcare system is a firehose of spending," Axios noted, "and a good chunk of that money always makes its way to the top."


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WHO, South Africa Urge Nations to Lift 'Naive' Omicron Travel Bans

"The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic."

Brett Wilkins ·


EU Joins Rights Group in Condemning Israel's 'Day of Destruction' of Palestinian Homes

"Demolitions are illegal under international law and significantly undermine the prospects for peace."

Brett Wilkins ·


GOP 'Silence Speaks Volumes,' Says Ilhan Omar as Boebert's Bigotry Goes Unpunished

"Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Brett Wilkins ·


Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

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