Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeff Leiden received $18.8 million in total remuneration last year, The Guardian reported Thursday.
Leiden's pay, which rose from $17.2 million in 2017, was 81-fold higher than that of the median Vertex employee.
The news comes after Vertex rejected a 500-million-pound offer from NHS for access to the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.
Seven top Vertex employees received a total of $48.2 million in compensation last year, drawing criticism from shareholders.
"We are concerned that the incentive compensation arrangements applicable to Vertex’s senior executives may not encourage them to take actions that result in lower short-term financial performance even when those actions may be in Vertex’s long-term financial interests," remarked investor Trinity Health.
Rebecca Hunt, Vertex's vice president of international corporate affairs, stated "more than 90 percent of our executive compensation is based on the performance of the company and our executive compensation was overwhelmingly approved last year by more than 95 percent of shareholders."
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