Woonsocket, RI – The Political Contribution Disclosure resolution led by Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust working in collaboration with Boston Common Asset Management’s support, received support from 38.5% of CVS/Caremark shareholders at today’s annual meeting in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Steve Mason, Director of the Brethren Foundation and Lauren Compere, Director of Shareholder Advocacy at Boston Common Asset Management attended the meeting.
To date, 45 Fortune 500 companies including other healthcare companies, such as Pfizer, CIGNA, Eli Lilly, Aetna, and Wellpoint, have adopted disclosure and accountability related to the company’s political spending. All these companies have agreed to board oversight, to disclose their policies on political contributions and to disclose a list of their corporate political contributions. In addition, Aetna, Pfizer and WellPoint have also agreed to disclose their payments to trade associations that are used for political purposes.
The company did not respond to the shareholder’s invitation to discuss their position on political contribution spending. In their statement of opposition to the shareholder proposal, CVS/Caremark stated that the Board argues “the CEO and the Board are exclusively responsible for determining the Company’s political interests.” The Board also stated it “believes that the company must be involved in the political process in order to ‘protect and promote’ the shared interests of clients, stockholders and employees.” CVS/Caremark’s current political contribution policy does not require board of directors or board committee oversight of the company’s political activities. This shareholder proposal does not seek to micro-manage or override our Board’s political contribution decisions but merely to raise the level of accountability and transparency to shareholders.