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Treasurer Magaziner, National Coalition Win Opioid Transparency Ruling from SEC

Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner and the national coalition Investors for Opioid Accountability have thwarted an attempt by pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen to deny shareholders' efforts to obtain information about the company's response to the U.S opioid crisis.

"Opioid-related deaths in Rhode Island are a public health epidemic. The State and federal government must work together with the non-profit and the private sectors to curb opioid misuse and abuse," said Treasurer Magaziner. "The pharmaceutical industry bears tremendous responsibility and must act to address this crisis."

Shareholders are also requesting information on whether AmerisourceBergen's board has clawed back compensation from any senior executive due to misconduct.

The AmerisourceBergen proposals were filed by fellow members of Investors for Opioid Accountability (IOA), an investor coalition that was established out of growing concerns that opioid risks may threaten shareholder value and have profound long-term implications for the economy and society.

AmerisourceBergen appealed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking to deny investors the opportunity to weigh-in on the issue. The SEC denied AmerisourceBergen's appeals, allowing shareholders to consider the proposals later this year.

"By denying AmerisourceBergen's attempt to stonewall concerned investors, the SEC has recognized that the opioid epidemic is a significant policy issue with a real impact on investors," said Treasurer Magaziner.

AmerisourceBergen, the nation's third largest drug distributor, paid $16 million in March 2017 to settle a lawsuit brought by West Virginia for allegedly contributing to the overdose crisis in that state.

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Copies of the SEC responses to the proposals are available at:

Investors for Opioid Accountably (IOA) is a diverse coalition of 40 treasurers and comptrollers, asset managers, faith-based, public and labor finds with over $1.4 trillion in assets. The coalition is engaging with opioid distributors and manufacturers on issues including board oversight of business risks related to opioids.

Members of the Investors for Opioid Accountability:

The Socially Responsive Industry Group of 1919 Investment Counsel

AEGON Asset Management

American Federation of Teachers

Bailard, Inc.

Benedictine Sisters, Boerne, Texas

Bricklayers & Trowel Trades

California State Teachers' Retirement System

Calvert Research and Management

Catholic Health Initiatives

City of Philadelphia Public Employees

Congregation of St. Joseph

Connecticut State Treasurer, Denise L. Nappier

CtW Investment Group

Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise

Dignity Health

Diocese of Springfield, IL

Domini Impact Investments

Dominican Sisters of Springfield, IL

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

JLens Investor Network

Mercy Health

Mercy Investment Services

NEI Investments

Neuberger Berman

Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment

Office of New York City Comptroller, Scott M. Stringer

Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Joe Torsella

Rhode Island General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner

School Employees Retirement System of Ohio

Segal Marco Advisors

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Socially Responsible Investment Coalition

Trinity Health

UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust

United Church Funds

Walden Asset Management

West Virginia State Treasurer, John Perdue

Zevin Asset Management, LLC

Related links

  • Department or agency: Office of General Treasurer Seth Magaziner
  • Online:
  • Release date: 01-22-2018

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