Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner joined investors from across the country in demanding that AmerisourceBergen, the nation's third largest drug distributor, publicly address opioid-related business risks.
"Opioid-related deaths in Rhode Island are a public health crisis. With this vote, investors in AmerisourceBergen have sent a strong message to the company that we must all work together to end the opioid epidemic," said Treasurer Magaziner. "Independent investors have voted overwhelmingly in favor of more disclosure and accountability at the company."
AmerisourceBergen (NYSE: ABC) had previously appealed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking to deny investor efforts to obtain information about the company's response to the U.S opioid crisis. The SEC denied those appeals, allowing shareholders to consider the proposal at the company's March 1, 2018 annual shareholder meeting in Naples, Florida.
At the meeting, 62 percent of independent shareholder votes were cast in favor of a proposal asking AmerisourceBergen's board to publish a report on the governance measures the company has implemented to more effectively monitor and manage financial and reputational risks related to the opioid crisis in the U.S.
In separate shareholder proposals at AmerisourceBergen, 52 percent of independent votes were cast in favor of requiring the board to publicly disclose the use of its compensation clawback provisions, with 49 percent of independent votes supporting the creation of an independent chair of the board who has not previously served as an executive officer of the company.
The proposals were submitted by members of Investors for Opioid Accountability, a coalition of 44 institutional investors, which is co-led by Mercy Investment Services and the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust.
Treasurer Magaziner is a member of Investors for Opioid Accountability, as well as the State Treasurers' Opioid Coalition, whose members include California Treasurer John Chiang, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, and West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue.
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