In a recent three-week span, the company hiked 116 drug prices as much as 9.46 percent.
In 2017, drug giant Pfizer Inc. hiked the price of dozens of drugs. Aside from this, it also jacked up the compensation of CEO Ian Read by 61%t thereby putting his total compensation at a total of $27.9 million. This was according to the financial filings reported by Bloomberg.
The compensation boost was reportedly approved by the company’s board for the reason that they have seen it as a “compelling incentive” to keep Read from retiring. They need Read to stay through the company. He is also banned from working with a competitor for a minimum of two years after that.
It was further reported by Bloomberg that Read’s compensation included in part a salary of $1.96 million, a $2.6 million bonus, $13.1 million in equity awards linked to financial goals and stock price. Moreover, an $8 million special equity award will be given to him if the company’s average stock return goes above 25% for 30 consecutive trading days before the end of 2022.
Read’s compensation totaled $17.3 million in the year 2016.
The 61% raise happens after it was reported that Pfizer’s drug prices were increased. In January, it was reported by FiercePharma that Pfizer implemented 116 price hikes this past December 15 and January 3 of this year. The said increase ranged from 3 percent to 9.46 percent. Prices of 20 drugs were also noted to increase by 9.44% and this includes Zoloft, Pristiq, Viagra, Chantix, and Lipitor which are available as generics. Also, in the first half of 2017, Pfizer had increased the prices of 91 drugs by an average of 20%, which included two waves of price hikes, one in January and the other on June 1. This was according to the data first reported by Financial Times.
According to a report by stat, that echoes the pattern seen in 2016, 2015, and 2014, Pfizer raised the list prices of its medicine by an average of 10.4% in January of 2016 and was then followed by an average rise in the list of prices in June 2016.
A Pfizer spokesman told FiercePharma that the company “takes a measured and responsible approach to pricing.” This was in response to the price hikes reported earlier this year. It was stated by the spokesperson that some eligible patients with financial hardships are provided by the company with assistance programs. Yet, such assistance programs and discounts don’t spare insurance companies from picking up larger tabs, thereby contributing to higher premiums and system-wide costs.
Pfizer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Ars.
The price hikes come in the middle of a national outrage over the high prices of medications and healthcare overall. A comparison between healthcare spending in the U.S. to 10 other high-income countries were analyzed and published in JAMA. According to the results, US paid nearly twice as much but performed less well. Researchers found that the main drivers of higher prices were pricey medicines as well as high administrative costs and devices.