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“Patients can't afford their medications. One reason for this is the patenting practices of drug makers who seek not to innovate, but to monopolize the market to maximize profits.”
– ICCR Member Lydia Kuykendal, Mercy Investment Services
“If people are unable to afford the drugs pharma companies develop there is no market and, therefore, no profit or long-term value creation for shareholders. Companies need to act as responsible stewards to drive long-term value for both the company and society.”
– Meg Jones Monteiro, ICCR Sr. Program Director for Health Equity
“The world is still racked by yawning inequity in accessing lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, putting people’s lives, public health, and the global economy at risk. Meanwhile, public policymakers and the media continue to expose Big Pharma’s corporate greed and sky-high drug pricing. The only sustainable solution to improve global access, affordability and accountability for lifesaving COVID-19 tools is for Big Pharma to share their technology, boost local manufacturing, and be much more transparent about their drug pricing, public funding, and access decisions.”
– Jennifer Reid, Senior Advisor, Health and Vaccine Equity at Oxfam America.

We believe corporations have an obligation to advance health equity, and to assess how their business operations, services, and products may contribute to health inequities. For decades, ICCR members have engaged leading pharmaceutical companies on concerns related to access and affordability of medicines, vaccines, and other health technologies. Most recently, our focus has been on equitable access to COVID vaccines and therapies and how patent misuse may inhibit access to medicines  

Our members also press food and beverage companies, casual restaurant chains, and retailers to increase their offerings of affordable nutritious foods to improve health outcomes worldwide. We also challenge technology companies to prevent and mitigate the algorithmic harms that occur through the use of AI in healthcare settings. 

As faith-based and responsible investors, we advocate for corporate and systemic reforms that will improve the health and well-being of communities, especially communities that bear a disproportionate burden of disease evidenced by health inequities rooted in institutional racism. Corporations have an important role to play by ensuring that their business operations and public policy engagements do not contribute to or exacerbate existing racial or gender inequities, both in the US and globally.

Current Initiatives:

Through a combination of dialogue and the filing of shareholder proposals, ICCR’s members are seeking to improve community health.

Our Impact

How ICCR is driving systemic reforms that will improve access and affordability of health care for all.


Agreements at 11 opioid manufacturers and distributors negotiated by the IOPA to increase oversight and accountability structures to reduce the risk of opioid misuse.

Post Holdings

Agreed to engage its suppliers on their use of pesticides harmful to human health and the environment

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Agreed to enhanced disclosure of its legal settlements, moving towards greater alignment of executive compensation and accountability.

Health Equity Staff Contacts

To learn more about our program, reach out to our staff:

Meg Jones-Monteiro: Senior Director – Health Equity and Evaluation

Meg provides strategic direction for ICCR’s engagements on health equity.



Health Equity Resources

Publications, blogs, investor statements, comment letters, webinar recordings and press releases related to investor action on health equity.


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What Food Equity Looks Like in Your Neighborhood

Partnership for a Healthier America has launched its Food Equity Opportunity Map in partnership with the University of Maryland Baltimore County, highlighting where improving access to good food would make the greatest impact and allowing everyone to see what Food Equity looks like in their community for the first time.

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The Burden of Patent Thickets

A new I-MAK study exposing the profound impact of extended patent protection that limits biosimilar competition and maintains high drug prices for patients and payers. The study highlights the staggering $158 billion in revenue amassed by drug makers after the expiration of primary patent protection from just four biologic drugs: Humira, Avastin, Rituxan, and Lantus.

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Food equity: The intersection of health and racial justice

In a letter sent to 21 companies including Coca-Cola ($KO), Kraft ($KHC), Unilever ($UL), McDonald’s ($MCD), and Amazon ($AMZN) among other iconic brands, the investors pointed to the COVID-19 crisis and how it has exposed inequitable systems that contribute to the economic and health struggles of Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities in the U.S. The investors argue that the way food is developed and marketed to communities […]

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Investor Statement Regarding Pharma Medicare Lawsuit

On August 31, 2023 investors released a statement voicing deep concern about lawsuits brought by pharma companies and trade groups to block the U.S. government’s ability to negotiate fair drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.  The statement, which was endorsed by more than 30 institutional investors, is being sent to Astellas Pharma, Inc. ($ALPMY), AstraZeneca ($AZN), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ($BMS), […]

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Methods matter: What steps are companies taking to help curb AMR by manufacturing responsibly? 

A new report published by the Access to Medicine Foundation. It is becoming increasingly clear that releasing antibiotic waste into the environment can drive antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In helping to curb this rapidly rising global health threat, pharmaceutical companies can ensure the production of their lifesaving antibiotics does not inadvertently contribute to drug resistance. A new […]

IOPA Investor Brief on Executive Compensation

When pharmaceutical companies set targets for executive performance, and base the amount of their compensation on meeting those targets, they often use profit metrics that are not based on Generally-Accepted Accounting Principles (like “Adjusted Earnings Per Share”) which routinely filter out legal settlement costs and fines from the end result. By excluding the $5 billion […]

IOPA Two Year Summary Report

This report summarizes the work of the Investors for Opioid Accountability (IOA) from July 1, 2017 to July 31, 2019. The IOA is a diverse global coalition of 57 members representing public, faith-based, labor, and sustainability funds, as well as investment managers, with $4 trillion in collective assets under management and advisement. The report covers […]

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ICCR Letter to Albert Bourla of Pfizer on Paxlovid Patent

Pfizer’s claim of a human rights violation and its overt pressure on the government of the Dominican Republic as a strategy to protect its patent on Paxlovid has caused concern among shareholders that the board is putting Pfizer’s social license to operate at risk. In this letter, ICCR notes the incongruence between Pfizer’s stated principles […]

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ICCR Statement on US Withdrawal from the WHO

On July 7, 2020, the White House communicated to the UN Secretary General that the United States would officially withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, in September, the United States announced that it will not join a global effort led by the WHO to develop, manufacture and distribute a vaccine against the coronavirus[1]. […]