Big Pharma Paid $690 Million To Fauci’s Agency Through Secret Third-Party Royalties During Pandemic Years

During the pandemic, pharmaceutical companies paid $690 million in secret third-party royalties to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s NIAID, revealing significant conflicts of interest within the agency.

Big Pharma Paid $690 Million To Fauci’s Agency Through Secret Third-Party Royalties During Pandemic Years 1

During the pandemic, payments from private pharmaceutical companies under murky licensing and royalty schemes exploded to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s agency and colleagues.

The public in America began to sense that Big Pharma and Big Government were closely related. We now have more information, and it does not give us confidence, thanks to our two federal cases demanding openness.

Pharmaceutical and healthcare corporations contributed $710,381,160 in third-party royalties to the National Institutes of Health in 2022 and 2023. Healthcare organizations licensed discoveries developed in federal labs that were funded by taxpayers, and in exchange, NIH, its leadership, and scientists received compensation. Less than $5 million was the two-year average of these payments over the previous ten years, a rise of more than 175 times.

Of the $710 million, or 97%, Fauci’s organization, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), earned $690,218,610. The other 26 NIH institutes were awarded a total of about $26 million within the same time frame.

At Fauci’s Institute, there was a huge financial gain:

It was previously stated that $325 million was paid to all NIH institutes between 2009 and 2021. Of that, $23.9 million, or $2 million a year, went to Fauci’s NIAID.

By improperly opposing the need to inform taxpayers of what was happening with their tax payments, NIH and NAID squandered untold public monies. This is because Fauci’s institute received NIAID royalty payments totaling 175 years in the ensuing two years, 2022 and 2023. $23.9 million over 12 years compared to nearly $690 million in only two years.

Big Pharma Pays Big Royalties

According to official declarations, the following firms are the most paid identifiable scientists working for Fauci’s NIAID in the years 2022–2023. Note that the amount paid to each scientist is being redacted by NIH, thus we are unable to rank the companies based on the dollar amount.

Big Pharma Paid $690 Million To Fauci’s Agency Through Secret Third-Party Royalties During Pandemic Years 2
Number of payments to named scientists, along with payments to scientists with redacted names 2022-2023 

Several of these businesses are well-known as among the biggest pharmaceutical corporations in the world, including Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. Other noteworthy top businesses consist of:

  • State-owned Chinese vaccine developers Changchun BCHT and China National Biotech Group 
  • Intranasal vaccine developer Blue Willow Biologics 
  • Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp, which developed the MVC COVIC-19 vaccine 

Merely looking at this list presents a plethora of possible conflicts of interest. For example, how much money did the state-owned Chinese vaccine developers pay the NIH in third-party royalties at the time that Fauci, the NIH, and their associates were making every effort to disprove the Wuhan lab-leak theory?

It is evident that vaccine developers are licensing NIH patents, but it is not apparent whether these patents cover COVID-19 treatments.

Unredacted license numbers from the NIH were supplied in the case; however, the technology being licensed is only listed in the agency’s active license database, which is valid through the 2020 fiscal year.

Auditors are unable to reconcile the payment from a private company with the medical invention in the absence of a current database linking patents to NIH licenses.

Based on the number of payments, Pfizer and Moderna are not among the top royalty payers at the present moment. Pfizer paid nine scientists while Moderna provided 29 payments to identified scientists.

Although Moderna did reach a $400 million settlement with the NIH in February 2023 for the licensing of COVID-19 vaccine technologies, it is unclear whether any of these monies are represented in our statistics.

As additional concerns pile up regarding NIH’s involvement in pandemic policies and even pandemic origins, the complete information must be unredacted as a start towards restoring trust in this organization.

Top Royalty Receiving Scientists At Fauci’s NIAID (2022-2023)

We don’t know if these scientists received the largest dollar amounts or just the most royalties because we don’t know the exact amounts paid in each transaction.

We can only be assured that there is a relationship between the total money received and the number of payments made until payment totals are made public.

The top five payment recipients, together with, if available, their positions from before and during:

  • Dean Metcalfe, Chief of the Mast Cell Biology Section, NIAID, 79 payments
  • Arnold Kirshenbaum, position unknown, 79 payments
  • Cem Akin, a former fellow at NIAID, current clinician-scientist, and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan Division of Allergy and Immunology, has 78 payments
  • Peter Kwong, former Chief of the Structural Biology Section, Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, current co-director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University, 53 payments
  • Tongqing Zhou, current Chief of the Structural Biology Section, Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, 46 payments.

Nearly 5,000 Royalty Payments Still Have the Name of Scientist Redacted

for the first time since 2005, when the Associated Press did an investigation, we were able to view each name of the royalty receiver on the payment line. (However, NIH continues to redact the dollar amount of the payment in materials released now—something they did not do with the Associated Press 20 years ago.)

Big Pharma Paid $690 Million To Fauci’s Agency Through Secret Third-Party Royalties During Pandemic Years 3

And thousands of names are still buried in obscurity. auditors detected 4,669 instances of payments to scientists with suppressed names from October 2009 to September 2023.

The exclusions listed under FOIA law supporting the redactions, (b)(4), shield “from disclosure trade secrets and commercial or financial information that is privileged and confidential.”

Why the names of NIH scientists are designated “confidential” or “trade secrets” remains unexplained.

In FY 2022 and FY 2023, when royalty payments to NIH scientists touched record highs, 936 payments were made to scientists with obscured names. Of those, 299 payments go to scientists connected with NIAID.

We don’t know why their names are censored whether they have decision-making positions that shape policy and govern how NIH spends its research time, or why NIH insists on covering up their identities.

We do know all of this raises substantial problems about conflicts of interest within the NIH royalties structure. Thus, we litigate to demand answers.

Conflict of Interest—Fauci’s Vax Maker

The federal government offered Moderna funds of roughly $10 billion from 2020-2022 to develop a Covid-19 vaccine and to provide doses. From 2013-2017 the Department of Defense awarded Moderna $60 million to develop their mRNA technology.

Between 2018 and 2023, 44 scientists at NIH got royalty payments from Moderna and one of those scientists was John Mascola.

John Mascola joined the NIH in 2000, and since 2013 managed the Vaccine Research Center, an entity under Fauci’s NIAID. In other terms, he was Fauci’s vaccine manufacturer.

During the pandemic, Mascola was assigned to manage Operation Warp Speed, the government initiative focused on developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

What the general public didn’t know, and NIH has spent tax dollars to battle tooth and nail not to divulge, is that Mascola has been getting royalty payments from Moderna since 2018. So, Mascola was leading the very committee that would determine the vaccine… and Moderna had been paying Mascola royalties for his inventions at NIAID since 2018.

Mascola has indicated publicly that he didn’t choose Moderna out of self-interest, but from an understanding of their operations and he believed the odds of success were higher.

Tensions between Moderna and the NIH were uncovered in a rare public patent battle, where the agency accused the firm of improperly omitting NIH scientists—including Mascola—off a lucrative patent relating to COVID-19.

Moderna eventually settled the case, adding the NIH scientists to the patent and paying over $400 million to the NIH. It also pledged compensation to the agency in the low single digits of future vaccination sales. NIH has not disclosed how much of those funds went to NIH investigators.

Our Fight Continues: Legislation and Litigation 

We salute Congressional leaders such as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who has regularly addressed NIH executives like Fauci, and current NIH director Lawrence Tabak, about the potential conflict of interest these payments represent.

Senator Paul introduced the Royalty Transparency Act, which passed unanimously out of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in early March. The measure is a required change.

Requiring federal government personnel to include their royalty payments in their financial declarations, which would subsequently be public.

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported new data from the National Institutes of Health revealing that Big Pharma paid $690 million to Fauci’s agency during the pandemic.

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