According to government watchdog Open the Books, the National Institutes of Health and hundreds of individual scientists received an estimated $350 million in undisclosed royalties from third parties, primarily drug companies, in the decade between 2010 and 2020
Between 2010 and 2014, National Cancer Institute employees received nearly $113 million. The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its leadership received more than $9.3 million
Federal agencies are increasingly refusing to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests, thereby forcing legal action. This is an obnoxious waste of taxpayer money as, by law, they’re required to release the information
Forced FOIA disclosures have shown the NIH lied about not funding gain of function research in China, and allowed the EcoHealth Alliance — whom they’re supposed to regulate — to write its own reporting rules. NIH has also been caught redacting information under false pretenses
Members of U.S. Congress are calling for an investigation into the EcoHealth Alliance, to determine the true scope of its cover-up. House investigators have found EcoHealth hid more data than previously known, including a death rate of 75% in humanized mice infected with its gain of function coronavirus
We’ve long suspected that U.S. government agencies have deep conflicts of interest, and in recent days, we’re finding these conflicts run deeper than most people imagined.
Government officials and employees are personally profiting on the taxpayers’ dime, and as conflicts of interest have increased, government’s transparency has decreased, making it more costly and time-consuming to get to the bottom of it all.
Undisclosed Royalties Paid to Hundreds of Scientists
According to government watchdog Open the Books,1,2,3 the National Institutes of Health and hundreds of individual scientists received an estimated $350 million in undisclosed royalties from third parties, primarily drug companies, in the decade between 2010 and 2020. The total amount is likely far greater, as four agencies have redacted their royalty payments.
“Because those payments enrich the agency and its scientists, each and every royalty payment could be a potential conflict of interest and needs disclosure,” Open the Books CEO Adam Andrzejewski writes.4 Why are these people getting paid? Open the Books explains:5
“The National Institute of Health [NIH], part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], is the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH grants over $32 billion in funding to research institutions around the world, and employs thousands of scientists to conduct research in-house.
When an NIH employee makes a discovery in their official capacity, the NIH owns the rights to any resulting patent. These patents are then licensed for commercial use to companies that could use them to bring products to market. Employees are listed as inventors on the patents and receive a share of the royalties obtained through any licensing, or ‘technology transfer,’ of their inventions.
Essentially, taxpayer money funding NIH research benefits researchers employed by NIH because they are listed as patent inventors and therefore receive royalty payments from licensees.”