BizFeed: Pharma Execs Wildly Overpaid

Plus: Apple likely to add CBS to streaming TV service; Sexy vending machines come to Philly.


1. Pharma Compensation Reigns Supreme

The News: Pharmaceutical executives make more money than any other slice of the health care sector, according to data compiled by Forbes. The annual compensation for C-level and senior executives at five pharmaceutical companies (Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Amgen, and Novartis) is $265 million. The five CEOs alone made $100 million.

Why it Matters: Healthcare costs are out of control, and they’re likely to stay that way if executives are paid so highly. Forbes explains:

We need an intelligent debate on the cost of healthcare. Our national healthcare expenditure (NHE) for this year is likely to surpass $3.2 trillion. When divided by the current population (319 million) we are effectively spending more than $10,000 per year on every American ‒ just for healthcare.

The Affordable Care Act made a significant dent in the number of uninsured, but that was a debate around coverage, not cost. The debate we’ve managed to avoid ‒ and the one we should all anticipate ahead, especially heading into a presidential election cycle ‒ is the one around cost. Saying that healthcare costs are “unsustainable” is a popular characterization, but it solves nothing.

2. Apple Will Likely Add CBS to Streaming TV Service

The News: CBS CEO Les Moonves said the network will “probably” join the roster of Apple’s new rumored streaming TV offerings. He dropped the news at the Code tech conference near Los Angeles, says Fortune.

“We’re very excited about it,” he said, adding that he met last week with Apple’s VP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue. The conversations are still ongoing, however, and nothing’s set in stone yet.

What it Means: Streaming TV is a growing option for viewers and adding a new layer of competition for Comcast. With Apple diving into the market — along with an established player like CBS — the TV market could change very quickly.

Comcast is already losing cable subscribers at a rapid pace, with 8,000 in the previous quarter alone. Is it indicative of the slow death of modern cable packages? Moonves said as much in the Fortune story:

“Apple TV is trying to change the universe,” Moonves said. “I think the age of the 200 channel universe is slowly dying.”

3. Sex Toys from a Vending Machine? 

The News: Want to buy sex toys but too timid to face the clerk at the sex store? Well, there’s a vending machine for that. It’s appropriately named Pinkbox and can be seen at the Philadelphia Burlesque Festival‘s opening night party at Underground Arts. (Thanks to G Philly for breaking that story.)

Why it Matters: Businesses are putting anything and everything into vending machines these days. There’s a vending machine for gold in Abu Dhabi, a mashed potato vending machine in Singapore (at 7-11 no less), and a hot dog vending machine here in the good old U.S. of A.

It’s tacky for sure, but it’s just the kind of thing that gets people talking and can get a business serious exposure.