Investors want to know how Walgreens is managing opioid crisis risks




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Walgreens Boots Alliance shareholders have instructed the corporate to clarify how it is monitoring and managing risks associated to the opioid crisis, in accordance to preliminary outcomes introduced Friday at Walgreens’ annual shareholder assembly.

The measure requires Walgreens to put together a report by June 30 detailing any modifications the corporate has made to its company governance since 2012 in response to the opioid crisis. Investors want extra specifics, together with how Walgreens’ board oversees opioid-related packages and whether or not govt bonuses think about any opioid-related goals like selling moral conduct.

Investors for Opioid Accountability, a coalition that features state treasurers, comptrollers, asset managers, labor funds and faith-based teams, submitted the proposal. It has filed comparable ones with practically a dozen corporations, together with drug distributors AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health and drug corporations Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.

Walgreens’ board opposed the proposal, saying it already discloses how it is dealing with the difficulty. Preliminary outcomes confirmed shareholders voted in favor of the measure, although the corporate mentioned remaining outcomes might be launched in a submitting with the Securities and Exchange Commission. CEO Stefano Pessina is Walgreens’ largest shareholder, holding about 15 % of the corporate’s inventory, in accordance to FactSet.

Drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies have all come beneath scrutiny for his or her position within the crisis that has killed scores of Americans. Lax prescribing and monitoring of prescription painkillers is broadly seen as fueling opioid habit. Now these corporations face lawsuits from 1000’s of state and native governments.

Two influential proxy advisory corporations Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services beneficial shareholders vote in favor of the proposal. In its evaluation, ISS mentioned regardless of a proliferation of lawsuits, subpoenas and investigations associated to the opioid crisis, Walgreens “does not seem to have taken steps at the board level related specifically to managing risks stemming from the opioid epidemic.”

Glass Lewis in its evaluation mentioned a “more thorough discussion is warranted at this time.”

They cite the fast monetary and authorized risks to the corporate, in addition to the extra threats. Walgreens owns about one-fourth of AmerisourceBergen, which is additionally embroiled in opioid litigation.

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