Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, the longtime directors of the National Institutes of Health and its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases respectively, personally received 58 royalty payments from companies to license their inventions developed with taxpayer money, newly disclosed records reveal.
Transparency watchdog OpenTheBooks.com on Wednesday published more than 1,500 pages of unredacted records identifying which companies paid which NIH scientists for which inventions and when, following a mostly successful Freedom of Information Act battle with NIH.
A government watchdog has discovered that over 1,800 government scientists received 27,244 royalty payments from 2009 to 2016, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in a seven-year time span.
Fox News reports that the findings were the result of a lawsuit filed against the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by OpenTheBooks.com. The watchdog had sued the NIH after the agency allegedly stonewalled their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. As a result, the NIH agreed to share their bookkeeping on royalties, although they redacted the total amount of individual payments, as well as the inventions, and the third parties who actually paid the royalties.
The National Institutes of Health and its scientists received an estimated $350 million in royalties from third-party payers between 2010 and 2020, according to an investigation by government transparency watchdog Open the Books.
The third-party payers are, according to the report, mostly pharmaceutical companies that credit NIH scientists as coinventors on various patents.