The American pharmaceutical company Mylan announced on September 30, 2015 that it will take measures to prevent Mylan products to be misused for execution purposes in the United States. By doing so the company acts on the urgent requests made by Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) and fund manager PGGM.
In its press statement Mylan also announced that it has demanded the return of Mylan products to ensure appropriate use of its product. This concerns rocuronium bromide which is manufactured for Mylan by a third party. This product is at risk of being used for lethal injection purposes as per October 1, 2015. The State of Virginia announced that it will resume executions on this date.
Rocuronium bromide is a muscle relaxant commonly used for standard medical procedures. Producers of rocuronium bromide can prevent misuse by setting restrictions (also referred to as distribution controls) which prohibit reselling rocuronium bromide for death penalty purposes. On an earlier occasion, PFZW and PGGM convinced another pharmaceutical company to impose similar restrictions.
Over the past year PGGM, on behalf of PFZW, has had several conversations with Mylan in order to make the company implement these restrictions. During the past month, this dialogue intensified when we received indications that the State of Virginia was planning to use rocuronium bromide for lethal injection purposes.
Peter Borgdorff, director Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn: ,,PFZW is a Mylan shareholder and applauds the company for listening to our concerns and now acting on them. We are convinced that this step will have a positive contribution to the reputation of a company that has an important contribution to medical care in the Netherlands and the rest of the world.”
Eloy Lindeijer, Chief Investment Management PGGM: ,,Responsible investment means that PGGM as an investor on behalf of pension funds engages in intensive and at times elaborate dialogues with companies that show behavior we consider incompatible with our responsible investment policy. The outcome of the conversations with Mylan shows that such efforts pay off and that we can have significant influence as shareholders. ’’
PGGM is a cooperative Dutch pension fund service provider. Institutional clients are offered: asset management, pension fund management, policy advice and management support. On June 30, 2015 PGGM had EUR 186,6 billion in assets under management. The PGGM cooperative has approximately 700,000 members and is helping them to realize a valuable future. Either alone or together with strategic partners, PGGM develops innovative future solutions by linking together pension, care, housing and work.www.pggm.nl
Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn is responsible for the pension policy and pension assets of more than two million existing and former employees in the health and social sector. The pension fund manages the assets which, at the end of June 2015, totalled EUR 166.2 billion. The Board of Governors is responsible for PFZW’s pension scheme and policy, as well as bearing overall responsibility for the proper operation of the pension scheme. PFZW has concluded a contract with pension fund service provider PGGM for the operation of the scheme. PGGM operates the collective pension scheme in the health and social sector and manages the assets.