Phillip Frost is one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs and is listed among Forbes’ wealthiest men. He made his billions by building a lot of pharmaceutical firms from the ground up and then selling them for a profit. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Opko Health, a pharmaceutical and diagnostics firm based in Miami. Frost’s MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine may have aided him in making the right option, but so does the fact that he has the economic acumen required to succeed in today’s society. At the same time, one must agree that Frost is more than a businessman. He enjoyed taking care of patients as a practicing dermatologist and only left when it became hard to continue. He also has a creative side to him. He gave his would-be wife Patricia a little mushroom garden on their first date. The couple later purchased so many works of art that they ran out of room to display them. The family is also known for its humanitarian efforts, having donated millions to educational causes.
Childhood and Adolescence
Phillip Frost was born in 1936 in South Philadelphia to a Jewish family. His father ran an Italian Market shoe store, and the family resided in a quarter above it. Phillips was the younger of two elder brothers.
Phillip’s school days are largely unknown. However, it is known that when he was thirteen, he accepted a work in a local hardware store, maybe to supplement his income.
Phillip moved to France after finishing high school and enrolled at the University of Paris, also known as the Sorbonne. From 1955 to 1956, he was a student there.
Phillips did not complete his studies there and returned home to attend the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his bachelor’s degree in French literature in 1957.
Phillip went to consult a dermatologist while working on his BA degree in Pennsylvania since a wart had appeared on his arm. Phillip was motivated by the dermatologist to consider dermatology as a career option. The only problem was that he lacked the financial means to pay the course price and support himself. When he got a full scholarship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, the problem was solved. In 1961, he received his MD and went on to work for the National Institute of Health in Maryland.
Career of Phillip Frost
Phillip Frost began his career at the National Cancer Institute as a Lieutenant Commander in the US Public Health Service. From 1963 through 1965, he worked there.
Dr. Frost joined the University of Miami School of Medicine as a Professor of Dermatology in 1966 and remained there until 1972. Frost devised a disposable biopsy equipment that could be used both indoors and outdoors while serving there in 1971. It was a tiny technological breakthrough with limited commercial significance. Frost, on the other hand, was able to sell it, giving him his first taste of commercial success.
His employment at University Miami soon became too confining for him. He became Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Greater Miami in 1972. He held that position till 1990.
Frost’s career reached a turning point in 1972. Despite his ability as a doctor, the businessman in him began to emerge from time to time. Fortunately, he learned about and purchased a gadget that used ultrasound technology to clean teeth. He then teamed up with Michael Jaharis to exchange stock to take out Key Pharmaceuticals, a struggling pharmaceutical company. There was no money exchanged. Because Jaharis had administrative experience, he was named CEO, while Frost was named Chairman of the Board of Directors. He continued to work as a dermatologist at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, however.
They had to deal with a lot of issues at first, both financial and pharmacological. When Theo Dor, a time-release pill for asthma treatment, was released to the market, things began to improve dramatically. Key Pharmaceuticals quickly become a profitable business. The company was bought by Schering-Plough for $600 million in 1986, and Phillip received $100 million.
Phillip Frost founded IVAX Corporation in 1987 by combining three existing pharmaceutical companies and launching new product development. He was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at this company.
Frost retired from practice as a dermatologist in 1990 and focused on growing his business. IVAX quickly rose to prominence in Latin America, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe.
Teva Pharmaceuticals, located in Israel, bought IVAX for $ 7.4 billion in January 2006. Frost’s profit share was $ 1.1 billion. In addition, even after the transaction, he remained Vice Chairman of Teva. He was appointed Chairman of the Board in 2010 and re-elected to the position in 2012.
Protalix BioTherapeutics was also backed by Phillip Frost. He also served on the board of directors, but resigned in 2007.
Frost became the CEO and Chairman of OPKO Health, a pharmaceutical company he founded by merging several smaller companies, in March 2007. He is still in charge of this role today.
Phillip Frost also serves on the boards of directors of a number of other businesses, including Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, PROLOR Biotech, Inc., Castle Brands, Continucare Corporation, and Cocrystal Pharma.
Frost became the largest stakeholder in the Coconut Grove Bank, South Florida’s oldest bank, in 2011. He also has a 19% stake in ChromaDex. He has also made significant investments in MusclePharm MSLP, Drone Aviation Holding Corp., Sevion Therapeutics, and other companies.
Major Projects of Phillip Frost
Frost’s first major accomplishment was turning a near-bankrupt company like Key Pharmaceuticals into a successful one. He later founded IVAX Corporation and developed it into a profitable business. When Teva Pharmaceuticals bought IVAX, he became Vice Chairman of the firm before being named Chairman.
Another feather in his cap is OPKO Health. Smaller companies like Acuity Pharmaceuticals Inc., Froptix Corporation, and eXegenics Inc. merged to form the company. Bio Reference Laboratories was recently acquired by OPKO, which is now conducting genetic research.
Works of Philanthropy
Scholarships for advanced study at the University of Oxford in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are supported by the Frost Family. Only students from Florida and Israel are eligible.
Phillip Frost gave $33 million to the University of Miami’s School of Music in 2003. In honor of their generosity, the school was renamed Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music.
The family gave $2 million to the Florida International University Art Museum. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum has since been renamed.
Phillip Frost contributed $35 million to the establishment of a new science museum in Bicentennial Park. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Science Museum will be its name. He also contributed an additional $10 million to the Science Museum’s planetarium. Frost Planetarium will be its name.
Phillip Frost serves on the boards of various charities and institutions, including the University of Miami, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Scripps Research Institute, Miami Jewish Home for the Aged, Temple Emanu-El, and others.
The Frost family has agreed to donate at least half of their fortune. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett spearheaded the promise. Phillip stated in an interview that he intends to focus on education both domestically and internationally.
Personal History and Legacies
Patricia Orr, a former elementary school principal, is Phillip Frost’s wife. There are no children in the family.
They currently reside on a vast property in Star Island. It is made up of two contiguous sections totaling 6 acres. It also has a large green house with 100 different varieties of plants collected from all around the world, in addition to a six-bedroom residence.
Estimated Net Worth
Phillip Frost is a billionaire American businessman with a net worth of $2.1 billion USD. Phillip Frost has been the wealthiest person in Florida at various times throughout his life.