Letter to IOPA Pharma Companies Requesting COVID-19 Response

Summary of Letter to IOPA Pharma Companies Requesting COVID-19 Response at AGMs

IOPA members sent letters requesting that the Chairs of the Boards at IOPA focus companies address five key COVID-19 related issues at their annual general meetings (AGM) of shareholders.

In the letters, investors expressed how eager they are to understand the financial condition of the company and its suppliers, along with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of company employees, patients and the communities in which they reside. 

Investors also expressed appreciation for the unique position of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and retail pharmacies in not only providing medicines but also discovering, testing and manufacturing new treatments and medical devices in response to COVID-19.

Investors noted the topics in the letter are consistent with the April 8, 2020, public statement issued by the SEC’s Chair and Director of Corporate Finance, which called on companies to direct their disclosures to reflect measures they are taking to deal with financial and operational issues related to COVID-19.

The five topics investors requested companies address in the upcoming AGMs included:

1)     Business and Supply Chain Continuity Plan and Pandemic Planning, including the company’s conformity with CDC, WHO and other various federal and state guidelines; which business units are continuing to function during this crisis and recovery; which business units continue to face challenges; and the overall impact on the firm’s enterprise risk management.

2)     Financial Implications, including any guidance on COVID-19’s impact on balance sheet resiliency, revenue, liquidity, capital allocation, executive compensation, and any pressure the company has received from banks to increase prices, as recently reported in the press.

3)     Workforce Composition and Adjustments for full-time, part-time and contingent workforce members, including furloughs, layoffs and changes in work schedules and pay, as well as any expected changes to the workforce once stay-at-home orders are lifted. 

4)     Employee Benefits and Protections, including paid sick leave and any associated qualifying conditions for employees, as well as the company’s policy on no retaliation against whistleblowers or any worker exercising their federally protected rights.        

5)     Workplace Health and Safety, including measures taken to determine the physical and mental health of the workforce, safety equipment provisions, and measures to enable social distancing.

 

Please contact Donna Meyer, Director of Shareholder Advocacy at Mercy Investment Services, Inc. at dmeyer@mercyinvestments.org

 

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