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Kenneth Frazier on Monday morning went from being a mostly anonymous pharma CEO to taking center stage in the political conversation — thanks to an angry tweet from President Trump.

Frazier, the CEO of drug giant Merck, announced that he was resigning from a council of business leaders advising Trump, citing “a responsibility to take a stand against violence and extremism” after Trump’s failure to denounce the actions of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. Within an hour, Trump personally rebuked him on Twitter, saying Frazier’s departure would give him “more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” And at the end of the day, in another tweet, Trump added another accusation: “taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!”

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  • Hi Maryann Barry. Could you put those numbers in context. For example is Frazier’s compensation particularly high compared to other big pharma CEO compensation based in the US or is it in line? The numbers you suggest does seem high, but is it consistently high for most CEO’s that work for big pharma or is Frazier the exception?

  • you forgot= $1.5 million in salary, $3.28 million in stock, $3.8 million worth of options, and $2.5 million in incentive pay, plus $4.32 million worth of pension growth and deferred compensation and $57,850 worth of perks and other compensation.

  • Thanks for the educational article on Frazier. He certainly appears to consistently demonstrate his values…walking the talk. We need more people of leadership to operate this way.

  • Frazier was certainly not anonymous and indeed was the poster guy for corporate greed as he spent down the company coffers in a massive effort to deligitimize the injured and dead plaintiffs who whose only sin was to take Vioxx as directed. He forced high ranking Merck officials to defend themselves and the drug in court. In the end there were two executives being groomed for CEO, Frazier and Brad Sheares. IMO old Ken couldn’t shine Brad’s shoes (no pejorative intended) but Brad was merely a brilliant scientiest while Frazier was the guy in the headlines.

  • It needs to be pointed out, that overall, PhARMA’s budget for marketing and advertising is orders of magnitude larger than its’ budget for R&D…. Drugs are all about making rich folks even richer, NOT about making sick people well….

    • Bill-
      That is a gross misunderstanding of the industry and does a serious injustice to the many, many people working very hard to improve therapies for diseases that impact us all.

      And by PhARMA did you mean the industry trade group or the companies in the industry?

    • Oh really? Millions of people are still alive or have a better quality of life because of products from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Or perhaps you’d prefer to steer people with cancer and chronic diseases to some “alternative” conspiracy theory website.

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