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April 11, 2021

Executive Compensation at the National Pharmaceutical Council

by Anne Paddock

Pharmaceutical companies have gotten a lot of bad press lately, and for good reason. When epipens cost $650-$700 in the US for a pack with two auto injectors (compared to $150 in Canada or $38 in Australia), people get upset. Or, when pharmaceutical companies (i.e Perdue) have acted irresponsibility by promoting and marketing opioids, people question the motives of companies they are supposed to trust and the value of medicines as an integral part of healthcare. One of the ways the pharmaceutical industry operates is to fund a trade association called the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC).

NPC is a Washington, DC-based trade association whose mission is to put forth science and good information to foster an environment that supports what they call “medical innovation” or what others would call “drug innovation” (where were they during the decades long opioid crisis?). In short, they gather research to support the use of pharmaceuticals and disseminate that information.

NPC is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) 6 that raises about $10 million annually, primarily through membership dues from companies like Bayer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Biogen, AstraZeneca, Lilly, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, and more. The council spends about $8 million annually, with the largest expense being compensation.

In 2019, 16 employees received $4 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $250,000.  However, only 7 employees received more than $100,000:

  • $1,359,657:  Daniel Leonard, President and CEO
  • $  588,987:  Robert DuBois, VP, CSO
  • $  301,682:  Kimberly Westrich, VP, Health Services Research
  • $  294,166:  Michael Ciaramentaro, VP, Research
  • $  288,212:  Jennifer Graff, VP, CER
  • $  271,265:  Kathryn Gleason, COO and SVP
  • $  267,701:  Andrea Hofelich, VP, Communications

The 7 most highly compensated employees received $3.5 million which means the other 9 employees received $500,000 or an average of $56,000 each.  4 of the 7 most highly compensated employees are female while 3 are male.

NPC made gross up payments or tax indemnifications for the contributions ($263,494) to Mr. Leonard’s supplemental non-qualified retirement plan.

6 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 5 most highly compensated listed below:

  • $555,753:  Twist Marketing, of Florham Park, NJ for marketing
  • $213,690:  Discern Health (a consulting firm), of Baltimore, MD for research
  • $166,440:  RTI Health Solutions (a consulting firm), of Research Triangle Park, NC for research
  • $156,838:  Brighton Communications, LLC, of Vienna, VA for communcations
  • $140,167:  Brigham and Women’s Hospital, of Boston, MA for research

As illustrated above, it appears NPC is buying research from outside independent contractors.

At year-end 2019, NPC had $16 million in net assets.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019), click here.

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