Over 183,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoes during the past 16 years, producing a devastating impact not only for individuals addicted to opiates and their families, but to society as a whole. Judaism mandates an affirmative duty to care for the sick (Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah 336:1), and therefore demands a vociferous response to this crisis. The Talmud declares, “all who destroy a single life are as though they destroyed an entire universe, and those who save a single life are as if they had saved an entire universe.” (PT Sanhedrin 4:22)
As a founding member of Investors for Opioid Accountability, JLens engages with opioid manufacturers and distributors to strengthen corporate accountability and oversight. As a result of this investor advocacy, leading US companies including McKesson and Cardinal Health have examined oversight, compensation incentives, and internal controls since the height of the opioid epidemic, and identified measures to mitigate risks going forward.
JLens recently co-filed a shareholder resolution at Teva Pharmaceuticals due to potential risks related to its manufacturing and sale of opioids. The resolution noted that Teva has been named as a defendant in lawsuits that are part of over 1,000 consolidated cases in Ohio, known as the National Prescription Opiate Litigation; that Teva is facing five class action lawsuits; and that Teva has been the subject of Congressional inquiries regarding the Company’s anti-diversion and suspicious order practices.
After a meeting this spring between investor advocates and Teva's Chairman of the Board and General Counsel, JLens is pleased to report that Teva's leadership has demonstrated concern and a commitment to action, and agreed to meet the requests in our shareholder proposal. JLens is able to conduct investor advocacy with Teva and other Israeli companies due to the new Israel ESG tilt on JLens' Jewish Advocacy Strategy seeded by JCF San Diego. To learn more contact JLens' Director of Advocacy, Rabbi Joshua Ratner.