PRESS RELEASE: Biggest healthcare fails of 2023 named in 7th annual Shkreli Awards

A $35 million CEO salary, hospitals that hawk medical credit cards, and a physician placing 41 stents in a single patient are among this year’s winners.

BOSTON, MA – The Lown Institute, a healthcare think tank, has released the seventh edition of its Shkreli Awards, given each year to perpetrators of the most egregious examples of profiteering and dysfunction in healthcare. The “winners” are chosen with the help of a panel of judges made up of health policy experts, clinicians, journalists, and patient advocates. The awards are named for the infamous “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, known for obtaining the manufacturing rights of the antiparasitic drug Daraprim and marking up its price by over 5,000 percent.

“When you see all these stories in one place, they stop being anecdotes and start to tell a bigger story,” said Vikas Saini, MD, president of the Lown Institute. “The need for more fairness and integrity in U.S. healthcare couldn’t be clearer.”

2023 Lown Institute Shkreli Award Winners

  1. Columbia fails to stop OB-GYN from sexually assaulting patients despite years of complaints
  2. Commonspirit nonprofit system pays CEO $35.5 million salary
  3. Pharma claims Medicare drug price negotiation violates their constitutional rights 
  4. Hospitals partner with private equity to offer medical credit cards
  5. Vascular doctor allowed to keep practicing despite discipline in a dozen states 
  6. GSK markets Zantac for decades despite potential carcinogenic compound 
  7. Any narrowed artery seems a fair target for this alleged coronary stent king
  8. Hospitals allegedly “dump” sick, homeless patients on the street
  9. Physician payments help medical device maker test experimental products on poor, patients of color
  10. Hospital threatens to ship expensive, comatose patient out of the country

A complete list of winners with descriptions, sources, and judges’ comments is available at the Lown Institute website.


Join Lown Institute president Dr. Vikas Saini and guest panelists, award-winning author Harriet Washington and professor and activist Dr. Victor Montori, on Tuesday, January 9 at 1 p.m. ET for a countdown and discussion of this year’s winners.

About the Lown Institute

​​The Lown Institute is an independent think tank advocating bold ideas for a just and caring system for health. We envision a healthcare system focused on what’s best for people, like hospitals caring for those most in need, patients living without fear of financial distress, and health professionals finding joy in their roles. The Lown Hospitals Index, a signature project of the Institute, is the first ranking to assess the social responsibility of U.S. hospitals by applying measures never used before like racial inclusivity, avoidance of overuse, and pay equity.


Aaron Toleos, Lown Institute, (978) 821-4620,