In a message to the pharmaceutical industry, 22 percent of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) shareholders voted in favor of a proposal that requires the drug maker to compile reports about the risks created by high prices and examine the extent to which pricing strategies propel executive compensation.
The vote, which is the first of several that shareholders in other drug companies will consider this spring, comes as concerns mount over rising prices, an issue that has put the entire industry on the defensive. For this reason, the outcome was seen as a key temperature reading of public sentiment.
“This is a strong showing,” said Nell Minow, who is vice chair of ValueEdge Advisors, which consults with institutional investors and fund managers. “Typically, votes for shareholder initiatives like this one start at somewhere in the teens and then gain in momentum over time.
As a former BMS employee and shareholder in BMS who is now in a Managed Care organization that is getting blitzed by high drug prices I didn’t hesitate to vote in favor of this proposal. The pricing nonsense has to stop somewhere.
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