The Consumer Justice Foundation Alerts Public to Asset International Report on Pension Funds Chiding Manufacturer of Depakote for Executive Pay Metrics

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The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose team of professional consumer advocates provide free online informational resources with regards to the potential dangers of certain prescription medications, has a URL that is located at http://www.depakotebirthinjury.com. The CJF hereby alerts the public to a report in Asset International that states that the New York Comptroller and five of the city’s public sector pension funds have requested that Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Depakote, stop insulating executive pay from other liabilities.

Rewarding top executives with lucrative bonuses when the company pays massive fines for allegedly breaking the law, cheating Medicaid, or potentially putting patients with dementia and autism at risk is just indefensible.

The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose team of professional consumer advocates provides free online informational resources to consumers with regards to the potential dangers associated with certain prescription medications, hereby alert the public of a recent news report that was published by Asset International on April 4, 2012. This report stated that the New York Comptroller and five other public pension funds have submitted a shareholder resolution to Abbott Laboratories with regards to their system of executive pay.

Abbott Laboratories is the manufacturer of the drug Depakote, which is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat the symptoms of migraine headaches, epilepsy and the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. The report states that this shareholder resolution was submitted by the New York Comptroller as well as the pension funds including the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, and the Board of Education Retirement System.

This resolution calls for Abbott Laboratories to change their executive pay system that allegedly insulates the company’s executive bonuses from financial liabilities. These liabilities include a $1.5 billion charge-off disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “related to ongoing settlement discussions in the previously disclosed investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice…related to Depakote.” This possible Depakote settlement, according to the report, was made in hopes of avoiding a civil lawsuit that would be filed because of alleged off-label uses of Depakote. No legal citation yet exists for such a matter, as investigation filing codes are not released to the public and the Department of Justice does not comment on ongoing matters. Abbott Laboratories disclosed this issue through its SEC filing. News of this hoped-for settlement was originally released in October of 2011.

New York City Comptroller John Liu stated in the report that, “Rewarding top executives with lucrative bonuses when the company pays massive fines for allegedly breaking the law, cheating Medicaid, or potentially putting patients with dementia and autism at risk is just indefensible.” The decision regarding this shareholder resolution will be made at Abbott Laboratories’ annual general meeting to be held later in April.

About the Consumer Justice Foundation

The Consumer Justice Foundation, whose Web site is located at http://www.consumerjusticefoundation.com, is a public resource that's been built and maintained by a group of concerned professionals who want to provide general information for consumers regarding the potential dangers involved with the use of Depakote while pregnant. This resource is not to be considered as medical or legal advice, which should only be dispensed by a licensed medical doctor or a Depakote lawyer.

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Faith Anderson
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