- Ever wonder which pharma moguls are worth the most? Earlier this month, Forbes helped answer that question with the release of its Forbes 400 list, which ranks the richest people in America. This year, pharma industry executives claimed four spots on the list.
- Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of the NantWorks network, had the highest net worth among healthcare execs in 2016, according to Forbes. Soon-Shiong ranked 47th on the list, with a net worth of $9.2 billion. The other pharma heavyweights who made the cut were Phillip Frost, Randal Kirk and Robert Duggan.
- The aggregate net worth for all 400 members in the 2016 edition was $2.4 trillion. Healthcare executives contributed about $62 billion to that total, falling far behind other industries like technology, finance and investments, and media and entertainment.
Phillip Frost was number 134 on Forbes’s list, with a $3.8 billion net worth. Frost served as chairman of Key Pharmaceuticals until Schering Plough bought the company in 1986 for almost $600 million. He also served as chairman and CEO of IVAX Corp, which Teva acquired in 2006 for about $7.4 billion. Frost stepped down from Teva’s board in early 2015, but continues to lead the pharmaceutical company OPKO Health.
Randal Kirk was the next highest ranked pharma executive, whose $3.6 billion net worth checked in at 174th. Kirk currently sits as the CEO of synthetic biology company Intrexon. Previously, Kirk helped create General Injectables and Vaccines and New River Pharmaceuticals, which were later sold, respectively, to Henry Schein for $85 million and Shire for $2.6 billion.
Robert Duggan rounds out the pharma representation on Forbes' list with a net worth of $2.6 billion. The former CEO of Pharmacyclics, Duggan sold the company to AbbVie in 2015 for $21 billion, netting him $3.5 billion. Much of Pharmacyclics success came from its cancer drug Imbruvica, which the company co-produced with Johnson & Johnson.
The 2016 list has three fewer pharma executives than the 2015 installment. Last year, Shanghai RAAS Blood Products founder Kieu Hoang, Kos Pharmaceuticals founder Michael Jaharis, and Regeneron founder and CEO Leonard Schleifer also made it on the list. Hoang was relabeled as a medical products executive on the 2016 list, while Schleifer just didn’t have a high enough net worth. Jaharis died in February.
Notably, Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the blood-testing firm Theranos, lost her spot amid a steady downward spiral at her company.