Norway’s SWF Has Exposure to Pharma Linked to Opioid Overdose Drug Gouging
Despite its otherwise strong social stances on equity investments, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) continues to hold financial interests in drug companies that are linked to entities that have raised the price of life saving medical treatments by high percentages in short periods of time.
Norway’s GPFG has taken a robust stance against companies that are involved in coal, gross corruption and questionable labor practices like Wal-Mart Stores, but have thus far remained silent on the sometimes eyebrow raising tactics of the global pharmaceutical industry. The Norwegian sovereign investor usually takes a stand by excluding these investments from its portfolio, while other Occidental public fund investors try to influence the company’s board of directors. Should the sovereign wealth fund be concerned about investing in companies that engage in the price gouging of life-saving drugs?
Norway’s GPFG must follow what The Council on Ethics prescribes when it comes to investing. The council advises the fund on whether specific investments are inconsistent with the fund’s ethical guidelines. Under Section (3) sub-number (6), the Council on Ethics says that companies can be put under observation, under watch or excluded for “other particularly serious violations of fundamental ethical norms,” according to its website.
U.S. Opioid Epidemic
The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. According to the U.S. CDC, 18,893 people in the U.S. died from opioid overdoses versus 10,574 from heroin in 2014. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
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