Rand Paul’s bill would force Fauci, NIH to disclose royalties received from Big Pharma

Rand Paul is still hot on Anthony Fauci’s heels and is demanding via a bill that federal employees disclose royalties they have received concerning new medical innovations.

That includes scientists working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci who is the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and former chief medical adviser to the president. It’s something that Paul claims he has been “concerned about for years.”

“During COVID, we had vaccines that were developed by Pfizer and Moderna. And then these vaccines were mandated on people throughout government, throughout the military, by different governors around the country, and yet, we don’t know whether the people that were approving either the vaccines or the mandates were receiving money from Big Pharma,” Paul told Fox News Digital in an interview that took place on Thursday before the State of the Union address.

The bill is called the Royalty Transparency Act of 2024. It passed unanimously out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Paul believes the bill has an excellent chance of becoming law. If it passed, it would require that any royalties that are paid to federal employees be made public on their financial disclosures. It would be a huge leap forward for transparency as anyone would be able to view them online.

“This is something that I inquired when I had [Dr.] Anthony Fauci in our committee,” Paul commented. “I’d said, you know, we need to know this, this is a basic conflict of interest problem, and he basically thumbed his nose at the American people.”

“With the approval of the COVID mandates and COVID vaccine mandates, the committees approving these, we had the question, well, are there people on these committees who get royalties from the companies that manufacture the vaccine?” he told Reason in an interview. “When I asked [Anthony] Fauci about this a year ago, his angry response was that it was none of our business and that he didn’t have to tell us.”

Paul contended that his bill would allow Americans “to know whether or not any of the people” approving the drugs are “receiving money from the same companies that manufacture the vaccines.”

Paul has dogged the issue concerning the transparency of NIH royalty payouts because the organization has bluntly refused to disclose how much it is paying researchers in royalties. The congressman wants to know if scientists are profiting hugely off of drugs, etc. connected to emergencies such as the COVID pandemic. It’s not just Paul though, for decades people have been asking about it.

“NIH scientists have reportedly received $400 million in royalty payouts from third-party companies for medical inventions they produced. Some were even found to be linked to foreign entities, including the Chinese Communist Party,” Fox News reported.

“Last summer, the government watchdog group OpenTheBooks found that more than 1,800 government scientists collected 27,244 royalty payments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars from 2009 to 2016,” the media outlet added.

This has been an ongoing point of concern that has allegedly been hidden by NIH and the government.

“It’s not the first time that royalty payments have come under scrutiny. In 2005, an Associated Press investigation laid bare the potential conflict of interest arising when a government employee works on clinical trials for a product while simultaneously receiving royalty payments for it,” Fox News continued.

Following that report, NIH vowed full disclosure by scientists concerning payments. However, many feel that doesn’t go far enough concerning the needed transparency of NIH.

“This is just basic 101 of conflict of interest. We’re letting the billions of dollars that change hands over at NIH and between NIH and Big Pharma to be completely unscrutinized,” Paul noted. “This is probably the first reform bill that actually has a chance to correct some of the things that are rotten in the system.”

“So, it’s not a small amount of money,” the congressman emphasized. “It’s a significant amount of money … to scientists, and so some of them are getting million-dollar paydays from big pharmacy companies, and it’s not being disclosed to the public.”

The bill will have to pass both Houses of Congress and be signed by President Biden before it can become law.

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