Gilead’s CEO Martin Joins “$50 Million Club”

In Advocacy, News by AHF

With $54.5 million in most recently reported compensation, HIV/AIDS drug company CEO John Martin joins Disney, Occidental Petroleum and Starbucks CEOs in elite club of top executive earners; Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Martin now listed as 10th on Forbes List of highest paid U.S. CEOs

Meanwhile, 1,800 people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. are on waiting lists to receive lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications through state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) because high drug prices are stretching state ADAP budgets to the limit; Gilead Sciences produces the most commonly prescribed drugs on the HIV/AIDS market

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 1, 2012) – On the heels of news that HIV/AIDS drug maker Gilead Sciences Inc.’s CEO John Martin has joined the “$50 million club” AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS nonprofit medical provider, criticized Martin and the company for providing him with such an ostentatious compensation package while the U.S. remains in the grips of an HIV/AIDS drug funding crisis.  1,800 Americans living with HIV/AIDS in nine states are currently on waiting lists to receive lifesaving medications through state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs),  the safety net for low-income people in need of HIV/AIDS treatment.  A key reason for the waiting lists is that high drug prices have made it so that fewer patients can be treated with the same amount of funding.  Gilead manufactures the most commonly prescribed HIV/AIDS drugs, as well as some of the highest priced ones.

According to USA Today (Occidental’s Irani, Gilead’s Martin join $50-million club, by Gary Strauss): “Martin’s $54.5 million includes a stock grant worth $5.5 million and stock options valued at $5.8 million. Martin, 60, also exercised previously awarded options valued at $36 million and received vested shares worth $2.9 million.  Martin’s 2010 compensation was valued at about $53.2 million, including $35.7 million from exercising stock options.”

Gilead’s Martin joins CEOs for Disney, Occidental Petroleum and Starbucks in an elite club of top executive earners.  He was also recently named the 10th highest paid CEO in the U.S. according by Forbes Magazine.

“It’s outrageous for Gilead’s CEO to be one of the highest paid executives in the nation, making tens of millions of dollars by selling lifesaving medications at such high prices that 1,800 Americans in desperate need of medications cannot access them,” said Michael Weinstein, AHF’s President. “People living with HIV/AIDS, their families, friends and communities should be up in arms over this sort of corporate greed in the face of life-or-death need.  So too should taxpayers, who are almost directly responsible for placing wads of cash in Martin’s pockets.  It’s the taxpayers who foot the bill for government health care programs—like state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs—a significant contributor to Gilead’s profit margin.”

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AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 176,756 individuals in 27 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website:, find us on Facebook: and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.


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