A Cash Bonus for the Health Crisis
NEW YORK – September 13, 2018
Today we live in a very cruel version of capitalism. Making a profit and cheating are essential components for the survival of any business. While ordinary people count their dimes, business giants come up with new plans for cashing in on people's problems. All moral principles and values are forgotten as soon as it comes to profit. It should be noted that the heads of such companies don't think about the consequences for even a second.
For example, the largest pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc., known for its extraordinary nefarious policies towards its customers, recently hiked 116 drug prices as much as 9.46 percent.
The drug giant is not frustrated. At the same time, it jacked up the compensation of CEO Ian Read by 61 percent, putting his total pay at $27.9 million, according to financial filings.
Pfizer’s board reportedly approved the compensation boost because they saw it as a “compelling incentive” to keep Read from retiring. He turns 65 in May. As part of the deal, Read has to stay on through at least next March and is barred from working with a competitor for a minimum of two years after that.
According to Bloomberg, 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, as well as an $8 million special equity award that will vest if the company’s average stock return goes above 25 percent for 30 consecutive trading days before the end of 2022.
In 2016, Read’s compensation totaled $17.3 million.
The 61 percent raise comes after a string of separate reports noting drug price increases by Pfizer. In January, FiercePharma reported an analysis finding that Pfizer implemented 116 price hikes just between this past December 15 and January 3 of this year. The list price increases ranged from 3 percent to 9.46 percent. The analysts noted that Pfizer increased the price of 20 drugs by 9.44 percent. Those included Viagra, Pristiq, Lipitor, and Zoloft, which are available as generics, as well as Chantix.
That is, while the pharmaceutical giants raise prices for medicines, thereby guaranteeing a huge profit for itself, the CEO of the company celebrates his birthday, and no one cares how people will be able to afford to purchase their medicines.
Additionally, Pfizer had increased the prices of 91 drugs by an average of 20 percent in just the first half of 2017, according to data first reported by Financial Times. That included two waves of price hikes, one in January and the other on June 1.
That echoes the pattern seen in 2016, 2015, and 2014, according to a report by STAT. In June of 2016, Pfizer raised the list prices of its medicines by an average of 8.8 percent. That followed an average 10.4 percent rise in list prices in January of that year.
It is also worth noting that in response to the price hikes Pfizer promised assistance programs to some eligible patients with financial hardships. It is unclear about what category of people they said. However, these discount programs and assistance programs don't spare insurance companies from picking up larger tabs, which contributes to higher premiums and system-wide costs.
"This is a measured and responsible approach to pricing," - Pfizer spokesperson noted.
According to a recent study conducted by the company, more than 80% of customers continue to choose the Pfizer products despite the increase in prices. This is due to the fact that the company has been on the market for decades and its rating is increasing. What is most interesting, the results of this study are not in the public domain, as there are no other results about the company's products. This is a well-known marketing move to publish non-existent data to attract people.
Unfortunately, pharmaceutical giants know this, so when they release a new product that they know can cause uncontrolled diarrhea in patients, the first release a huge number of falsified studies, replacing the word "diarrhea" with "kittens." The real cover-up is much more complicated than just replacing one word with another, but the idea is the same. All this is often covered by non-existent International agencies for the sale of something, or the National Center for something, or Federal society of something, made up names and made up stories. The truth is, the if the name sounds official, people believe it.
To remedy the situation we need to realize what is going on and stop believing politicians and businessmen despite that they have the loudest voices in our society. Sooner or later people will have to reject this model of society, or pay a serious price.
Earlier it was reported that the price hikes came amid a national outrage over the high prices of medications and healthcare overall. A recent analysis published in JAMA compared healthcare spending in the US to 10 other high-income countries. It found that the US paid nearly twice as much but performed worse. The main drivers of higher prices, researchers found, were high administrative costs and devices and pricey medicines. President Donald Trump has repeatedly urged the US Health & Human Services to reduce the price of medicines.