Religious shareholders pressure drug companies on AIDS issues
A multidenominational coalition of shareholders and other concerned investors on Wednesday announced the filing of shareholder resolutions at four major pharmaceutical firms to urge the companies to better respond to the AIDS epidemic around the world, including making treatments affordable in developing countries. During a news conference sponsored by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the coalition announced the filing of resolutions that will be voted on during upcoming annual shareholder meetings for Abbott Laboratories, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Pfizer. The resolutions would require the companies to review the economic effects of addressing the AIDS pandemic on each company's business strategy, including the impact of expanding access to anti-HIV medications in poor countries. The coalition has sponsored similar AIDS-related resolutions at other companies such as Caterpillar, ChevronTexaco, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo, each of which have a significant business presence in countries hard-hit by AIDS.