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Two state treasurers are urging Cardinal Health (CAH) shareholders to reject a hefty, $2.5 million bonus for the chief executive officer, citing his long-standing tenure at the wholesaler and its role in fomenting the opioid crisis.

In a regulatory filing, the treasurers argued that Cardinal appeared to have “persistently failed” to ensure safe and secure distribution of controlled substances, and that rewarding chief executive officer Michael Kaufman would risk shareholder value and have negative implications for society as a whole.


In particular, they noted that last year, Cardinal agreed to contribute $5.6 billion toward a preliminary $47 billion settlement involving about 2,700 lawsuits brought by state, county, and city governments against several opioid makers and wholesalers. As a result, the company took a charge that “erased half a decade’s of earnings” and caused a $3.7 billion loss, its largest ever.

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    • Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for your note.

      And I understand your frustration. Unfortunately, news media cannot survive without revenue. That was the way things were done years ago – consumers paid for subscriptions to newspapers and magazines.

      None of the news site can survive without financing, whether public or private or some combination. I realize this is disappointing, but business is business. We try, however, to provide valuable stories that are worth your time and money (although our stories about Covid-19 are free, as a public service).

      Whether you return to STAT – and I hope you do – I also hope you’ll keep this notion in mind. Without financial support, there will be less news media. And without sufficient news coverage, our society is harmed as a whole.

      Hope this helps,
      ed at pharmalot

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