Most health care industry profits go to drug companies

Big Pharma eats up a lion’s share of health care industry profits, according to new first-quarter financial reports — and its dominance has implications for Americans struggling to pay for prescription drugs.

More than half of total industry profits during that period went to the top 10 companies on the list, an Axios quarterly analysis showed. And 90 percent of those were drug manufacturers: Topping the list of highest-profiting companies were Eli Lilly at $4.2 billion, followed by Pfizer at $3.9 billion and Johnson & Johnson at $3.7 billion.

“It’s not altogether surprising that this many [of the top 10] are pharmaceutical companies,” Stacie Dusetzina, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University, told MarketWatch. “We don’t have any strict rules about what level of profits is acceptable and we know that prices have gone up. We know that the number of specialty drug products has increased.”

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