IOPA coalition wraps after half-decade of driving reform

Starting in 2017, the Investors for Opioid and Pharmaceutical Accountability (IOPA) coalition spearheaded a widespread and strategic investor response to the opioid crisis, focused on accountability for the destruction wrought on people and communities by irresponsible opioid manufacturing, distribution and sales, and on the systemic impacts and risks in the supply chain that impact long-term shareholder value. 

In its five-plus years of operations, IOPA took on the most important governance reforms within major pharmaceutical companies to better hold executives accountable for decisions and manage those risks. The coalition filed more than 100 shareholder proposals, while actively engaging corporate boards and executives in dialogue.  

In 2021, SHARE CEO Kevin Thomas was named co-Chair of the IOPA coalition alongside Meredith Miller (from UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust) when Miller’s initial co-Chair, Donna Meyers (from Mercy Investment Services), retired. Kevin was later joined by Chirag Acharya (from Wespath Investment Management) after Miller left.  

The coalition, which included 67 members representing more than US$4.2 trillion in assets under management, ended its active campaigns in 2023, leaving the pharmaceutical industry with some important reforms in place. Since then, SHARE has continued its own engagements on behalf of its clients on health equity and accountability, focusing on additional practical reforms related to executive compensation, political lobbying, and AI use and governance.

The IOPA coalition was a successful example of what a disciplined, focused and well-organized shareholder engagement project can look like. It addressed a serious breach in corporate governance and accountability using the tools available to shareholders, and established sector-wide norms for behaviour and structure which, if used well, will provide the tools and incentives to avoid future crises.

Accountability through Action

IOPA spearheaded a widespread and strategic investor response to the opioid crisis.
Details on the coalition’s activities and successes is available below.

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