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Q&A on Financial Disclosures by Government Scientists

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  • Q&A on Financial Disclosures by Government Scientists

    The seeds of regulatory capture, or even corruption, were planted in the 1980s. The fruits are overripe now, molding in the darkness.
    Q&A on Financial Disclosures by Government Scientists

    D'Angelo Gore - Yesterday 2:51 PM

    In this story, we’ll explain what we know about the financial and conflict-of-interest disclosure requirements for Dr. Anthony Fauci, other National Institutes of Health higher-ups and members of two U.S. vaccine advisory committees.

    What does not have to be disclosed?

    Federal laws enacted in the 1980s authorize government agencies, including the NIH, to license their inventions to third parties in exchange for royalties that can be used to fund additional research. A statutory formula determines the portion of the royalties that NIH institutes and centers have to share with the NIH employee, or former employee, listed as the inventor.

    As Fauci indicated in his response to Paul, he and other NIH officials who must submit the financial disclosure report are not required to include details about royalty payments they have received for products or treatments they developed for the government.

    “NIH inventors that receive royalties in the performance of their government duties do not have to disclose such royalties on their financial disclosure reports because they are considered income from the government,” the NIH said in a statement emailed to “If the NIH researcher is receiving royalty payments from a non-government institution where they may have worked previously, those royalties are required to be reported in financial disclosure forms and reviewed by NIH Ethics officials.”

    What information about NIH royalties is publicly available?

    Comprehensive information about royalties paid to the NIH and NIH inventors is not available online nor is it readily accessible by the public. On its website, the NIH publishes limited information about the payments, such as the total amounts received by the NIH and other agencies by fiscal year, as well as how those yearly amounts were divided between the NIH and its employee-inventors.

    In FY 2021, for example, the NIH received more than $108 million in royalities and NIH inventors received a little over $11 million, according to NIH figures.

    More detailed information is hard to come by, even for organizations that file requests under the Freedom of Information Act...

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