PFIZER INC. | Political contributions congruency AT PFIZER INC.

14.13% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Corporate purpose
  • Lobbying / political engagement
  • Public health
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Health Care
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved: Pfizer publish an annual report, at reasonable expense, analyzing the congruency of political, lobbying, and electioneering expenditures during the preceding year against publicly stated company values and policies, including Pfizer’s stated goal to “end discrimination against women, ensure equal opportunities for leadership and access to reproductive health.” Such a report should list and explain any instances of incongruent expenditures, and state whether the identified incongruencies have led to a change in future expenditures or contributions.
Whereas clause
Tara Health Foundation, 47 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94108, which represents that it owns at least 1,840 shares of Pfizer common stock, and a co-filer have notified Pfizer that they will present the following proposal at the 2023 Annual Meeting:
Pfizer has stated “political contributions are made to support the election of candidates, political parties and committees that support public policies important to the industry, such as innovation and access to medicines,” and “[w]e aim to end discrimination against women, ensure equal opportunities for leadership and access to reproductive health.”
However, Pfizer’s political expenditures appear to be misaligned with the company’s stated values and interests.
Pfizer has stated that “Expanded access to health insurance coverage will help ensure that patients with under-diagnosed and undertreated conditions are able to address them; and that those who will benefit from Pfizer medicines are better able to have access to them.” Yet in 2018, Pfizer was a top contributor to a 527 organization leading efforts to strike down the Affordable Care Act, which has made prescription drugs more accessible for millions, and contributes to PhRMA, which donates to numerous organizations opposing congressional efforts to reform drug pricing.
Pfizer manufactures contraceptives and a drug commonly prescribed for medication abortion. Yet the proponent estimates that since the beginning of the 2020 election cycle, Pfizer and its employee PACs have donated at least $5 million to politicians and political organizations working to weaken women’s access to reproductive health care. In the South during this period, Pfizer’s contributions to anti-choice state candidates exceeded those to other candidates by a ratio of 3:1, and its contributions to anti-choice federal candidates exceeded those to other candidates by a ratio of 2:1. For example, Pfizer contributed to multiple sponsors of bills passed in 2022 in Tennessee and Louisiana that will restrict access to medication abortion.
This pattern spending has drawn scrutiny from STAT, Bloomberg News, Huffington Post, The Minnesota Daily, CQ ESG Briefing, Agenda (a Financial Times publication) and Forbes.
Proponents believe Pfizer should establish policies and reporting systems that minimize risk to reputation and brand by addressing possible missteps in corporate electioneering and political spending that contrast with its stated healthcare objectives.
Supporting statement
Proponents recommend that such report contain management’s analysis of risks to our company's brand, reputation, or shareholder value of expenditures in conflict with publicly stated company values. “Electioneering expenditures" means spending, from the corporate treasury and from the PACs, directly or through a third party, at any time during the year which are reasonably susceptible to interpretation as in support of or opposition to a specific candidate.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Rothschild & co Asset Management For
Anima Sgr For As a report on the congruency of the company's public position with its and its political activities would provide shareholders needed information about reputational risks that may arise from publicity around perceived inconsistencies. Pfizer's discussion in its Congruency report of the publicly stated positions taken by its major trade associations provides shareholders with some disclosure on how its publicly stated positions align with the public positions of its trade associations and seems to generally be more disclosure than is standard industry practice. There have been material issues raised regarding whether some of the candidates the company's political partners and PAC have supported are acting in the long-term best interests of the company. Greater information comparing the company's public position with its political activities would provide shareholders needed information about the company's principles and practices and would mitigate risks arising from publicity around lobbying that appears to contrast with its public positions.
KBI Global Investors For
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. Against

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