Seven pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies face shareholder proposals from several large institutional investors.
The proposals call for separation of the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, performance-based senior executive stock options, a majority vote for election of directors, disclosure of political contributions, and reports on the economic impact of AIDS/HIV on the companies.
The companies are Eli Lilly & Co., Indianapolis; Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J.; Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Ill.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., New York; Pfizer Inc., New York; Wyeth, Madison, N.J.; and Gilead Sciences Inc., Foster City, Calif.
The $64.5 billion Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, Columbus; Vermont state treasurer Jeb Spaulding, who is a trustee and administers the three funds of the $2.6 billion Vermont State Retirement System, Montpelier; the $35.277 billion New York City Employees Retirement System and the $600 million American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employee pension fund, Washington, jointly filed a proposal at Eli Lilly, calling for the company to adopt a policy that does not constrain the reimportation of prescription drugs into the United States by limiting the supply of drugs in foreign markets and to report to shareholders on that policy.
The $117.45 billion New York State CommonRetirement Fund, Albany, co-filed a proposal at Lilly, calling for disclosure of political contributions. The other co-filer is Mercy Investment Program, New York, a $300 million fund of retirement and other assets of the Sisters of Mercy.
The $5 billion LongView Collective Investment Fund, New York, also filed a proposal at Lilly, calling for performance-based stock options.
The $43.5 billion Minnesota State Board of Investment, St. Paul, filed a proposal at Merck, asking for a report on the economic impact and liability risks from the company's policy of limiting the availability of its products to Canadian wholesalers or pharmacies that allow purchase of its products by U.S. residents.
The $527 million United Brotherhood of Carpenters Pension Fund, Washington, filed a proposal at Abbott Laboratories calling for performance-based options, and also at Bristol-Myers Squibb calling for a majority vote for the election of directors.