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  1. From Associated Press:

    Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical companies and their chief executives Friday, declaring that they “don’t make a lot of money” and shouldn’t be scapegoats in the health care debate.

    The mayor — and wealthiest person in New York City with a fortune estimated at $16.5 billion — made the comments on his radio show Friday during a discussion about health care.

    “You know, last time I checked, pharmaceutical companies don’t make a lot of money, their executives don’t make a lot of money — not that they couldn’t be better,” Bloomberg said.

    Pharmaceutical CEOs are known to make millions, with generous salaries, stock options and other perks.

    Abbott Laboratories Chairman and Chief Executive Miles White’s compensation was $25.3 million in 2008. The North Chicago, Ill.-based company saw profit rising 35 percent to $4.88 billion.

    Merck’s chief executive, Richard T. Clark, received a $17.3 million compensation package for 2008. The company’s profit more than doubled to $7.8 billion.

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