ABBVIE INC. | Lobbying Expenditures Disclosure at ABBVIE INC.

36.32% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Governance
ESG sub-theme
  • Lobbying / political engagement
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Health Care
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved, the stockholders of AbbVie request the preparation of a report, updated annually, disclosing:
- Company policy and procedures governing lobbying, both direct and indirect, and grassroots lobbying communications.
- Payments by AbbVie used for (a) direct or indirect lobbying or (b) grassroots lobbying communications, in each case including the amount of the payment and the recipient.
- AbbVie’s membership in and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and endorses model legislation.
- Description of management’s decision-making process and the Board’s oversight for making payments described in section 2 above.
Whereas clause
Whereas, full disclosure of AbbVie’s lobbying activities and expenditures to assess whether AbbVie’s lobbying is consistent with its expressed goals and stockholder interests.
Supporting statement
AbbVie spent $55,650,000 from 2013 – 2021 on federal lobbying. AbbVie’s lobbying “to kill lower drug prices during pandemic” attracted negative scrutiny.1 AbbVie lobbies at the state level, spending $2,421,703 on lobbying in California from 2013 – 2021. And AbbVie lobbies abroad, spending between €1,000,000 – 1,249,999 on lobbying in Europe for 2021.
AbbVie fails to disclose its payments to trade associations and social welfare groups (SWGs), or the amounts used for lobbying, to stockholders. Companies can give unlimited amounts to third party groups that spend millions on lobbying and undisclosed grassroots activity.2
AbbVie sits on the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, which together have spent over $2.2 billion on lobbying since 1998, and supports SWGs that lobby, like the Alliance for Patient Access.3 And while AbbVie does not belong to the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council, it is represented by the Chamber and PhRMA, which each sit on its Private Enterprise Advisory Council.
AbbVie’s lack of disclosure presents reputational risk when its lobbying contradicts company public positions or evades disclosure of third party payments. AbbVie states it supports more affordable medicines, yet has drawn congressional scrutiny for hiking drug prices4 and media attention for funding dark money “ads attacking prescription drug bill — after hiking prices up to 470%.”5 And PhRMA gives millions to “dark money” SWGs like the American Action Network, which “has consistently advocated policies favored by drugmakers.”6
We believe AbbVie’s failure to disclose third party lobbying payments is a risk and urge AbbVie to expand its disclosure.
3 %20AbbVie%20Staff%20Report.pdf.5

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Anima Sgr For As additional disclosure of the company's direct and indirect lobbying payments would help shareholders better assess the risks and benefits associated with the company's participation in the public policy process. There are gaps in terms of its disclosure of its direct and indirect lobbying payments. Providing links to publicly available lobbying reports is not sufficient for shareholder to efficiently assess the company’s lobbying spending. Itemized disclosure of the company’s lobbying expenses and more specific information on its trade association payments will provide investors increased awareness on the company’s activities and related oversight.
LocalTapiola Asset Management Ltd For A vote FOR this proposal is warranted, as a report on the congruence of the company’s political expenditures with its stated values would enable shareholders to have a more comprehensive understanding of how the company oversees and manages risks related to its political spending.
VidaCaixa For
Rothschild & co Asset Management For
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. Against

DISCLAIMER: By including a shareholder resolution or management proposal in this database, neither the PRI nor the sponsor of the resolution or proposal is seeking authority to act as proxy for any shareholder; shareholders should vote their proxies in accordance with their own policies and requirements.

Any voting recommendations set forth in the descriptions of the resolutions and management proposals included in this database are made by the sponsors of those resolutions and proposals, and do not represent the views of the PRI.

Information on the shareholder resolutions, management proposals and votes in this database have been obtained from sources that are believed to be reliable, but the PRI does not represent that it is accurate, complete, or up-to-date, including information relating to resolutions and management proposals, other signatories’ vote pre-declarations (including voting rationales), or the current status of a resolution or proposal. You should consult companies’ proxy statements for complete information on all matters to be voted on at a meeting.