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Treasurer Torsella Calls on Mylan and Depomed to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Joins with other shareholders to seek governance reforms

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today joined with other institutional investors of the Investors for Opioid Accountability (IOA) coalition in contacting Mylan N.V. and Depomed, Inc., requesting a meeting with each company’s board to discuss potential harmful repercussions of the manufacturing and sale of opioids and the adoption of governance reforms.

"Pennsylvania is one of the hardest-hit states by the opioid epidemic. There is no community across this state untouched by addiction. No one should be priced out of a drug that saves lives, while corporations continue to turn a profit. I will continue in the fight to hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for its role in this crisis, alongside other members of the coalition."

Pennsylvania Treasurer, Joe Torsella

Mylan is a manufacturer of both opioids and naloxone, a drug used to reverse an overdose. The coalition is concerned about the risks associated with the company’s production of fentanyl products and its effects, which may then be treated by Mylan’s own generic version of naloxone. In addition, the coalition has raised concerns about Mylan’s decision to maintain an artificially inflated price for naloxone, in response to competitor prices.

After Depomed acquired the Nucynta franchise in 2015, sales of this opioid accounted for 62 percent of the company’s product sales. The coalition is concerned that Depomed faces substantial risk associated with its production of Nucynta, a highly addictive drug, and seek a deeper understanding of the board’s oversight practices and policies associated with the manufacturing and sales of opioids.

In addition to the request for meetings with each company’s board, the IOA has proposed governance reforms, including:

  • Greater transparency in the pricing of drugs
  • Provision ensuring that employees do not financially benefit from misconduct
  • Review of executive compensation metrics
  • Independent investigation and report
  • Establishment of a Stakeholder Advisory Council
  • Disclosure of lobbying spending at the state and federal level.

The IOA, a coalition of investors which includes Treasurer Torsella, previously called for action from Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corporation, the three largest prescription drug wholesalers in the nation. As a result, McKesson Corp. announced it would split the roles of Board Chair and CEO, beginning with the Company’s next CEO. Shareholders of McKesson also voted against the compensation arrangements for the CEO and other top executives amid concerns related to the company’s role in the ongoing opioid crisis.

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