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Governance

23% of Bristol Myers-Squibb shareholders back proposal about drug pricing, compensation

Nearly 23% of Bristol Myers-Squibb shareholders at the company's annual shareholder meeting Tuesday supported a shareholder proposal requesting the company report how rising public concern over drug pricing is integrated into its incentive compensation practices for senior executives, according to a webcast of the meeting.

The company was one of five U.S. pharmaceutical companies at which members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility filed shareholder proposals.

The other companies receiving the resolutions for the 2018 proxy season are AbbVie Inc., Amgen Inc., Biogen Inc., and Eli Lilly & Co.

"Our resolution asked how these very real concerns are being incorporated into corporate governance policies on executive compensation and, importantly, if these policies and practices are consistent with our company's stated mission of 'providing access to prescription medicines at fair prices,'" said Cathy Rowan, director of socially responsible investing at Trinity Health, one of the filers, in an ICCR news release. "We are gratified to see such strong support from fellow shareholders and look forward to increased transparency and reporting on this important topic."

The proposal garnered 22.6% approval from shareholders.

The ICCR is a coalition of 300 faith-based pension funds, universities and other asset owners as well as secular foundations, investment management firms, investment consulting firms and unions, representing more than $400 billion in combined assets.

Bristol Myers-Squibb spokeswoman Laura Hortas could not be immediately reached to provide further information.