United Church Funds, along with its organizational partners that make up the Investors for Opioid and Pharmaceutical Accountability (IOPA), is excited to announce notable wins from 88 shareholder resolutions filed in the past three years.

Accomplishments of the IOPA coalition include:

  • 13 companies’ board of directors now publishing opioid risk reports. Among the companies are Cardinal Health, Endo and McKesson, whose shares are held by UCF. Other companies publishing reports are Walgreens, Rite Aid, Mallinckrodt and Johnson & Johnson.
  • 18 companies have adopted misconduct clawback policies, including Cardinal Health, Assertio, Endo and Insys.

IOPA is a diverse coalition of public, faith-based, labor and sustainability investors working to hold pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors accountable for risks to investors, the economy and society. Click here to learn more about IOPA and its diverse membership.

UCF joined IOPA in 2017 and was the lead filer of a shareholder resolution at Mallinckrodt for lobbying disclosure. That resolution received an overwhelming 80 percent vote. UCF has also filed several proposals seeking independent board chairs and greater board accountability.

UCF recognizes that opioid medications provide crucial pain management for terminal diseases and certain chronic conditions. However, we firmly believe there is no reason that opioid abuse should be responsible for the leading cause of death for people under 50[1].

In addition to pharmaceutical accountability, IOPA members are now demanding that companies delay payout of bonus compensation to senior executives. By adding a deferral period, investors have greater assurance that if a company incurs legal settlements related to opioids or other high-risk ventures, they stand a better chance of clawing back some of this bonus compensation before it is fully distributed to executives.

As the 2021 proxy voting season gets started, we expect to announce more updates on this work in the weeks to come. UCF clients make this essential shareholder advocacy work possible by supporting values-aligned investing that seeks a just world for all. When values are aligned, we can achieve tangible results.


[1] Drug Policy Alliance https://drugpolicy.org/issues/drug-overdose