Information that has come to light as a result of a watchdog group’s lawsuit reveals that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its scientists received royalties of at least $134 million between 2009 and 2014. The royalties were paid by third parties like large drug manufacturers, and it is expected that hundreds of millions of dollars in additional payments are expected to be disclosed.
The lawsuit is being prosecuted by Open the Books (OTB) and has resulted in the disclosure so far of more than 22,100 separate royalty payments to almost 1,700 NIH scientists.
OTB founder and CEO Adam Andrzejewski issued a statement showing that the next round of documents to be produced cover the period between 2015 and 2020 and involve many more pages of information than those already disclosed.
OTB estimates that the total NIH royalties paid between 2010 and 2020 will exceed $350 million. The suit has revealed to date that National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has received 23 seperate payments. Fauci is already known to be the highest-paid employee in the entire U.S. federal government.
Former NIH Director Francis Collins was shown to have been paid 14 individual royalties.
Especially given the NIH’s notorious lack of transparency, the royalty payments raise concerns about conflicts of interest. NIH has substantial oversight responsibility regarding the same pharmaceutical companies that have been sending payments to its scientists.
Andrzejewski said that NIH “defied” the requirements of the federal Freedom of Information Act and refused to recognize or even acknowledge the OTB request for copies of public documents. He said the group first asked for documents according to law last September, but NIH has used taxpayer funds to aggressively defend and “slow-walk” royalty records disclosures.
The records that have been recently revealed come after several controversies showing NIH has let leftist political ideology undermine its stated mission of promoting public health and scientific research. NIH has supported research using fetal cells from aborted unborn children. It has also facilitated research into using surgery and chemicals to “transition” the natural gender of children.