Connect with us

Government

Democrats Silent As Republicans Rip Into Secret Royalty Checks To Fauci, Hundreds Of NIH Scientists

Democrats Silent As Republicans Rip Into Secret Royalty Checks To Fauci, Hundreds Of NIH Scientists

Authored by Mark Tapscott via The Epoch…

Published

on

Democrats Silent As Republicans Rip Into Secret Royalty Checks To Fauci, Hundreds Of NIH Scientists

Authored by Mark Tapscott via The Epoch Times,

Top Democratic leaders with oversight of the National Institutes for Health (NIH) are keeping quiet about the $350 million in secret payments to agency leaders like Dr. Anthony Fauci and hundreds of its scientists.

The Epoch Times received no responses from multiple requests to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) for comment on a report by a non-profit government watchdog estimating that Fauci, former NIH director Francis Collins, and hundreds of NIH scientists got as much as $350 million in undisclosed royalty payments from pharmaceutical and other private firms between 2010 and 2020.

The revelations from Open the Books, which were first reported on May 9 by The Epoch Times, are based on thousands of pages of documents the group obtained from NIH in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in federal court. The suit was filed by Judicial Watch on behalf of Open the Books.

Open the Books is a Chicago-based nonprofit government watchdog that uses the federal and state freedom of information laws to obtain and then post on the internet trillions of dollars in spending at all levels of government.

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) speaks at a hearing in Washington, on June 23, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Pallone is chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, while Murray is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Their panels are the main congressional oversight tools for NIH.

A spokesman for NIH also did not respond to multiple requests from The Epoch Times for comment.

Because NIH hands out $32 billion in research grants to medical institutions and researchers annually the undisclosed royalty payments, which are usually for work on a new drug, may indicate the presence of massive and widespread conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts, both of which violate federal ethics laws and regulations.

Collins resigned as NIH director in December 2021 after 12 years of leading the world’s largest public health agency.

Fauci is the longtime head of NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as well as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

Lane is the deputy director of NIAID, under Fauci.

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins holds up a model of the coronavirus as he testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee looking into the budget estimates for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the state of medical research, on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 26, 2021. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)

Fauci received 23 royalty payments during the period, while Collins was paid 14. Clifford Lane, Fauci’s deputy, got eight payments, according to Open the Books.

While Pallone and Murray were silent on the secret NIH payments, Republicans expressed outrage at what they see as serious conflicts of interest.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) told The Epoch Times, “the NIH is a dark money pit. They covered up grants for gain of function research in Wuhan, so it is no surprise that they are now refusing to release critical data regarding allegations of millions in royalty fees paid to in-house scientists like Fauci.

“If the NIH wants to keep spending taxpayer dollars, they have a responsibility to provide transparency.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “This report is disturbing and if it is true that some of our country’s top scientists have conflict of interest problems, the American people deserve to have all the answers.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asks questions during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 21, 2021. (Ken Cedeno/AFP via Getty Images)

Similarly, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) called for an investigation, noting that, “Of course it’s a direct conflict of interest for scientists like Anthony Fauci to rake in $350 million in royalties from third-parties who benefit from federal taxpayer-funded grants.

“Anthony Fauci is a millionaire that has gotten rich off taxpayer dollars. He is a prime example of the bloated federal bureaucracy. This royalty system should be examined to ensure it isn’t making matters worse.”

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) said the latest revelations are further evidence that Fauci should be fired.

“Fauci and the NIH have repeatedly abused the trust of the American people.

“From lying about gain of function research to walking back claims about COVID-19, this latest allegation is just another nail in the coffin of the integrity of our public health system.

“Dr. Fauci should have been fired a long time ago, and that remains true today,” Carter told The Epoch Times.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) is seen during a hearing in Washington in a file photograph. (Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images)

Mike Howell, a veteran congressional counsel and investigator who is now senior adviser on government relations at the Heritage Foundation, told The Epoch Times he thinks NIH could be in for trouble on the Hill in 2023 if voters return Republicans to majority control of the Senate and House in November’s mid-term elections.

“This Congress has not only failed to perform any serious oversight of the Biden administration, but is in many cases complicit in covering for them.

“When new majorities take over next over year, they will have a mandate to get to the bottom of scandals like this.”

Another Heritage expert, Douglas Badger, pointed to the need for a systematic re-examination of federal ethics statutes and an oversight investigation of the NIH royalties by Congress.

“Government scientists who are collecting royalties in connection with work they did in the course of their official duties must disclose this information to the public. The potential for conflict of interest is obvious,” Badger said.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) building is seen in Washington, on July 22, 2019. (Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images)

“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should revise its ethics guidance to require such disclosure, federal agencies should respond fully and promptly to freedom of information act requests concerning these royalties, and Congress should conduct an oversight investigation to assure that royalties paid by private companies to government scientists do not compromise the integrity of executive branch agencies.”

Badger is a senior fellow in Heritage’s Center for Health and Welfare Policy.

Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, also pointed to the potential seriousness of the apparent conflicts of interest, and the need for a congressional probe.

“The obvious conflict of interest for the public health scientist recipients of the hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty payments calls into question who they have been working for,” Manning asked.

“Congress must demand a full, non-redacted accounting of these payments along with the projects these public employees have been involved in and stakeholder interests in those projects.

“At a time when the truthfulness of public officials like Dr. Fauci, have come under intense scrutiny, it is critical for these relationships to be fully disclosed,” he said.

In a related development earlier this week, Rep. Brett Guthrie told a meeting of an energy and commerce subcommittee examining Biden’s 2023 budget proposal for HHS that the department that includes NIH needs much more congressional oversight.

“Oversight is especially important given the huge increases in funding requested by the Biden administration. The HHS budget before us today calls for a 12 percent increase in discretionary spending at HHS for Fiscal Year 2023,” Guthrie told the subcommittee.

“The budget specifically gives more than a $6 billion combined boost in funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, both of which have come under fire recently over controversial masking guidance and COVID-19 research funded by NIH using American taxpayer dollars,” Guthrie continued.

“We need to hold NIH accountable and ensure taxpayer dollars are not going to labs engaging in risky gain-of-function research and ensure researchers are transparent about how they are spending taxpayer funded research grants,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/12/2022 - 15:01

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Joined up thinking needed for joined up data plans

Joined up data could transform the pharmaceutical industry and help create a healthier Europe for decades to come
The post Joined up thinking needed for…

Published

on

Joined up data could transform the pharmaceutical industry and help create a healthier Europe for decades to come – but the route to change is far from smooth sailing.

Without careful consideration and full stakeholder input, the EU’s plans for a connected data system could end up being counterproductive.

That’s the view of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), which has published a list of recommendations aimed at helping the sector get the most of out of the data it holds.

“If the European Health Data Space (EHDS) and the rules surrounding access to the data are not carefully thought through, with the involvement of all stakeholders, there could be unintended consequences that limit the utility of the data for developing innovative medicines,” said the organisation.

Huge potential

The EFPIA Recommendations on a Connected Data System in Europe, published at the end of April, welcomes the proposals, which are part of the European Strategy for Data, to create common data spaces.

Said the authors: “A connected health data ecosystem has the potential to empower more effective and efficient research and development of new treatments and diagnostics. It would also ensure better planning and delivery of patient-centred care through personalised medicine.

“This, combined with value-based healthcare, can result in better allocation of resources and more sustainable healthcare systems.”

The value of this approach, which places real-world data in the hands of the right people at the right time, was demonstrated in abundance over the last few years, they went on.

It was, they explained, stakeholders from across the healthcare ecosystem coming together to share insights, whether from clinic, research, or genomics, that changed the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applying the same ethos to healthcare in general, then, could give the drug development sector all the information it needs to contribute to a fitter, healthier Europe.

“For the research-based industry, access to data is critical at every step. From accelerating drug discovery to understanding patients’ behaviours and the outcome of treatment, the availability of data is essential to testing hypotheses, identifying trends and assessing proposed treatments,” they said, adding that improved access to, and transmission of, health data could “transform the pharmaceutical industry”.

“A connected health data ecosystem has the potential to empower more effective and efficient research and development of new treatments and diagnostics. It would also ensure better planning and delivery of patient-centred care through personalised medicine.”

 

Significant challenges

While EHDS is a lofty ambition, bringing it to fruition will not be without its challenges, both practical and regulatory.

As the EFPIA paper points out, health data is currently held in a wide range of repositories, from clinical notes and electronic health records to insurance claims, patient registries, patient-reported outcomes records, and continuous patient monitoring data from apps and wearables.

Unlocking their value, then, requires a high level of interoperability between different IT systems, providers, data sources, and software, all based in different countries with different levels of infrastructure maturity.

“Healthcare system information must be better connected. This will allow stakeholders to use this data for optimising and improving health outcomes,” said the paper, adding that interoperability was a “critical enabler of the digital transformation of healthcare in Europe”.

Conflicting national laws could be another important barrier to data access and use. Varying interpretations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, present challenges for clinical development of innovative medicines, said the authors.

“Conflicting interpretations of Article 9 of the GDPR, and the additional limitations on processing of health and genomic data that member states have enacted under this article, cause significant delays in study start-up and patient enrolment.

“Some member states take the position that the only lawful basis for processing health data is when individuals have given their consent for its collection and use. Others… take the position that processing this health data, when necessary for scientific research, is lawful.”

EU Data Protection Supervisors, the paper recommends, must reach a common understanding of key GDPR terms if citizens are to enjoy the same rights across the EU.

Practical solutions

The EFPIA paper makes a number of recommendations on how the EU could embrace the full potential of the proposed EHDS.

First, it says that developing a shared understanding of the relevant requirements in digital health is essential, and calls for an EU-wide approach to how data is accessed, pooled, compared and used, while also protecting privacy.

In terms of possible solutions, it points to the use of Federated Data Networks (FDN), in which separate networks share mutual RWD resources.

“In an FDN, data is not moved from its host source, though hybrid models can exist with local and central data hosting. The research question or query moves to where the data is originally hosted, with results aggregated centrally or delivered to the researcher,” said the authors.

This, they went on, could unlock the power of data in primary or secondary care settings, in clinical care decision-making, and in research, whilst preserving the privacy of the RWD at a local level.

Common data models (CDM), which standardise the logical infrastructure of software systems to enable interoperability, are also required.

“CDM is essentially a construct, a means to an end to help organise RWD into a common structure, formats, and terminologies across diverse, heterogeneous, and multiple source datasets,” said the paper.

“It addresses a central need to be able to curate data for analysis on a contemporaneous and continuous basis (not on a per study basis) or for largescale, geographically diverse, network studies of multiple data sources.”

 Joined up approach to joined up data

Ultimately, building a usable EU-wide health data system requires input from all stakeholders, and decisions on FDNs and CDMs should be taken internationally, as a sector.

Because, as the EFPIA says, we all have one goal: using the power of data to improve the health of the citizens of Europe.

About the author

Amanda Barrell is a freelance health and medical education journalist, editor, and copywriter. She has worked on projects for pharma, charities and agencies, and has written extensively for patients, HCPs and the public.

The post Joined up thinking needed for joined up data plans appeared first on .

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

Large UK study suggests vaccination helps treat long COVID

An observational study in the UK has found evidence that COVID-19 vaccination can help alleviate the lingering symptoms
The post Large UK study suggests…

Published

on

An observational study in the UK has found evidence that COVID-19 vaccination can help alleviate the lingering symptoms that afflict some people who contract the virus, often referred to as ‘long COVID’.

There have been persistent anecdotal reports that vaccines can help people with persistent symptoms get better, but the study published in the British Medical Journal is the first to explore the connection in large numbers of patients.

It is based on responses from more than 28,300 adults who are taking part in the UK’s COVID-19 Infection Survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, and focused on individuals who reported symptoms that lasted for 12 or more weeks after infection.

The likelihood of long COVID symptoms was found to decrease after COVID-19 vaccination, and evidence pointed to an even greater improvement after a second dose. However, the authors say more data is needed before vaccination can be considered a treatment for the condition.

The team, led by ONS’ Daniel Ayoubkhani, found that before vaccines were available, the chances of experiencing long COVID were fairly constant after infection, but fell around 13% after a first dose, and a further 9% after a second.

The trial completed before the third booster doses were rolled out, and researchers say there is no data yet on whether the improvements reported after vaccines will be sustained with further follow-up.

They speculate that vaccination may “reset” immunity in people with long COVID who are thought to develop dysregulation of the immune system, similar to an autoimmune condition.

“Although causality cannot be inferred from this observational evidence, vaccination may contribute to a reduction in the population health burden of long COVID,” says the paper.

Further research is needed to look at the long-term relationship between vaccines and long COVID, and to gauge the effect of boosters and reinfection with SAS-CoV-2, particularly with the now-dominant Omicron variant, which had not emerged when the data was collected, according to the researchers.

Commenting on the results, Prof Penny Ward, visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London, said: “These data broadly support prescribers encouraging patients with ‘long COVID’ to be vaccinated, or to complete the course of vaccination if they have not already done so.”

Meanwhile, Dr Peter English, a retired consultant in communicable disease control, said it is likely that long COVID is, in fact, a collection of different conditions, only some of which may respond to vaccination.

“The large scale of this study means that we can be fairly confident about what has been observed; but it does not mean we can be sure what it means,” he cautioned.

Nevertheless, faced with the potentially very significant consequences the condition could have on the health of the population, “anything that can reduce the burden of disease from Long COVID at reasonable cost is…important and valuable”.

The post Large UK study suggests vaccination helps treat long COVID appeared first on .

Read More

Continue Reading

Economics

JPY forecast amid the Bank of Japan keeping the monetary policy easy

The rapid depreciation of the Japanese yen (JPY) in the last couple of years led to one of the most impressive moves seen in the FX market in recent history….

Published

on

The rapid depreciation of the Japanese yen (JPY) in the last couple of years led to one of the most impressive moves seen in the FX market in recent history. The yen simply melted, losing value against all its peers – not only against the US dollar.
Speaking of the US dollar, the yen dropped to over 131 recently before gaining some ground in the last few days. How will the yen perform for the rest of the year, and is the Bank of Japan right in keeping the monetary policy easy?

Bank of Japan still sees inflation as transitory

The main reason for the JPY’s move lower is the Bank of Japan’s policy. The central bank sees inflation as transitory, and, for this reason, it keeps the monetary policy easy.

It keeps buying government bonds, despite PPI or Producers Price Index (i.e., inflation on the producers’ side) rising at a four-decade high.

But so did the Fed, before dropping the transitory word when talking about inflation. If the PPI transfers to consumers, as it should, then the Bank of Japan would have to reverse its policy.

Truth be said, inflation in Japan is below 2% for decades, hurting the Bank of Japan’s credibility. It might have dramatic implications on the FX dashboard if it rises considerably above the target.

Only that the FX market is a leading one. Traders speculate and position themselves well before a central bank acts.

So did we see the lowest point in the JPY or not?

AUD/JPY daily chart points to a possible reversal

All JPY pairs’ charts look more or less like the AUD/JPY daily chart below. It shows that following the COVID-19 pandemic dip in 2020, the market rallied relentlessly.

But the recent breakout in 2022 following the Bank of Japan’s yield curve control comments is only the last leg of an otherwise super long trend. In other words, the yen was sold well ahead of the Bank of Japan’s comments. It followed the US stock market higher.

Now that the US stock market is coming down (i.e., Nasdaq 100 dropped -28% YTD), the JPY pairs may follow. The AUD/JPY chart above shows a possible head and shoulders pattern at the top which might just signal the top of a bigger head and shoulders pattern.

In other words, should the recent highs hold, a move back to 80 should not be discounted, especially if the US stock markets keep falling.

The post JPY forecast amid the Bank of Japan keeping the monetary policy easy appeared first on Invezz.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending