United Church Funds (UCF) is celebrating the very successful campaign at pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt, where a resolution that UCF sponsored on lobbying disclosures generated 79.7% support from the company’s shareholders.
United Church Funds and Investors for Opioids Accountability (IOA) members congratulate Mallinckrodt for supporting the shareholder proposal regarding a report on lobbying activities and agree with our company’s leadership that disclosure of lobbying activities is important information for shareholders. The IOA’s strategy with this company was to file three shareholder resolutions, one on lobbying, one on board oversight of opioid risks, and one on “clawing back” executives’ compensation when controls fail and financial restatement occurs.
“We are very pleased that all three resolutions received majority support – a rare and wonderful acknowledgement that investors believe that pharmaceutical companies with opioid lines need better governance,” said Katie McCloskey, UCF Director of Social Responsibility.
“The company is making an important step. They are willing to be on the record with it, and that is something to be applauded for. We are going to monitor it and see how they do,” continued Ms. McCloskey.
A report that details lobbying governance and activities at the local, state and federal levels in the relevant markets in which the company transacts is a critical first step to demonstrating proper controls over aligning lobbying to shareholders’ best interests.
Mallinckrodt’s statement of support indicates that the company will issue the first edition of this report in 2019 for the fiscal year 2018 and describes the scope of this first edition. IOA members encourage Mallinckrodt to lead in the pharmaceutical sector by expanding the data provided in subsequent reports, specifically to include disclosure of monies provided to Patient Advocacy Groups and the expected outcomes for those donations.
It is most important for pharmaceutical companies with opioid business lines to show that their political contributions and lobbying activities are done with both business interests and the public good at heart.