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If you think you are too small to make a difference,
Try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.
- African proverb

The PharmaShares Concept

Solutions to global health problems require innovation and creativity. A proposal to address the problem of access to essential medicines is called PharmaShares. We are asking for the active participation of all shareholders of pharmaceutical companies who want to take a small but important step toward improving the health of people in developing countries. The concept is simple and is based on a mechanism that is familiar to all taxpayers.

What is the Basis for the Idea Behind PharmaShares?

Everyone in the US who has ever filed a Federal tax return has seen the question at the top of the first page of the tax form posed by the Presidential Election Campaign, asking, "Do you or your spouse if filing a joint return, want $3 to go to this fund?" The taxpayer can check a "Yes" or "No" box in response to this question (see sample here).

If a taxpayer checks off the "Yes" box, three tax dollars go into a fund administered by the Federal Election Commission. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces the federal campaign finance law including the public financing of Presidential campaigns. In 1971, Congress established the income tax check off found on US Federal tax returns to provide for the financing of Presidential election campaigns and national party conventions. The FEC administers the fund, provides advisory opinions, conducts outreach, and enforces the law relating to Presidential campaigns.

How PharmaShares Works

We have developed a mechanism similar to this idea for shareholders of pharmaceutical companies to address the problems caused by lack of access to essential medicines. SHARED proposes to create an independent agency with the sole mission of funding the provision of essential drugs to developing countries. This newly established entity would receive tax-deductible funds from the PharmaShares shareholders' check off mechanism similar to the one used by the FEC.

The PharmaShares check off mechanism is designed so that when purchasing pharmaceutical company stocks, shareholders are offered the option to add a tax-deductible amount to the total transaction for contribution to the PharmaShares fund. Upon sale of pharmaceutical shares, the same tax-deductible option applies. The independent PharmaShares entity collects and administers these tax-deductible funds to be used solely to assist with the delivery of essential drugs to developing countries. This type of mechanism allows direct participation by shareholders of pharmaceutical companies and to give those shareholders an opportunity to participate in improving global health.

The concept for PharmaShares was first developed in a paper written by Elizabeth Ziemba, the President and Founder of SHARED. This paper discusses issues relating to public-private partnerships, drug donation programs, good corporate citizenship, "green marketing", and socially responsible investing. The paper is available on our website as a white paper in the Global Health section or simply click here.

Current Status of PharmaShares

Before the PharmaShares program is launched, information is needed from shareholders as to how they would like the program to be developed. We are working on two approaches to conduct the research needed before PharmaShares becomes a reality.

First, SHARED has developed a proposal for conducting research in conjunction with a pharmaceutical company to test the idea and gather shareholder perspectives about the proposed idea. The framework for the research to be conducted has been developed by Stackpole & Associates, a healthcare market research company. (click here to read the proposal). The proposal has been submitted to various pharmaceutical companies, soliciting their participation. If you believe our research proposal is a worthwhile endeavor, please contact the pharmaceutical companies in support of PharmaShares. Contact information for the major pharmaceutical companies is provided in our Donation Programs section.

Contact us directly with your comments and ideas concerning the PharmaShares concept. We welcome your emails [click here to contact us] and will update the website as this idea moves from the drawing board to the Board Room.

Please see the information on the right about taking our survey.







Take Our Survey

We are collecting information on our website directly from shareholders of pharmaceutical stocks. Even if you do not currently own share of pharmaceutical stocks, please take a few moments to provide valuable information by taking the survey. The results of the survey will be posted on our website.


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