Paycheck envy? Check out how much pharma and health care CEOs made last year

By:  Eric Boodman

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who are the top-earning CEOs of them all?

A new report from the Associated Press and the research firm Equilar has some answers, and once again, many of the highest earners among execs running large companies are pharma and health care CEOs.

Consider Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, the head of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, based in Tarrytown, N.Y. His total compensation in 2015? More than $47 million. If he were working at New York state’s minimum wage — $9 an hour — it would have taken him well over 5 million hours to earn that much. That’s about 600 years of work without stopping to eat or sleep.

Next on the list is Dr. Jeffrey M. Leiden, of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston, at $28 million. That actually represents a pretty hefty pay cut for Leiden. He earned more than $36 million in 2014, which raised a few eyebrows given that the company had turned a profit just once in the previous quarter-century.

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