Ex-PhRMA chief's $11.6M tops among healthcare reform lobbyists

Ex-PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin (photo) caught a lot of flak in 2010 for brokering an $80 billion cost-savings deal with President Barack Obama, helping the administration seal its healthcare reform plans while aiming to stave off further pharmaceutical industry cuts. As it turns out, he was well paid for absorbing the hits.

Tauzin earned $11.6 million in 2010, the year he negotiated that pharma-politico arrangement. That salary put him head and shoulders above the other healthcare lobbyists battling for their interests during the reform fight. Insurance lobbyist Karen Ignagni reaped $1.5 million the same year, while the Chamber of Commerce's Tom Donahue was paid $4.8 million, according to Bloomberg.

In fact, Tauzin's 2010 payday compares favorably with some pharma CEOs' compensation. According to FiercePharma's 2010 CEO compensation report, Tauzin wouldn't have made the top 10--the threshold for that was $14.2 million, earned by Gilead Sciences ($GILD) CEO John Martin (photo)--but his package was on par with Baxter International's ($BAX) Robert Parkinson ($11.5 million) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) Lamberto Andreotti (photo) ($11.8 million).

Tauzin left PhRMA a few months after Obama signed the healthcare legislation into law. Some have said that backlash from pharma about the $80 billion in cuts contributed to his exit, but the organization says Tauzin had long-standing plans to leave.

- read the Bloomberg piece

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