Clyburn and Maloney Seek Copies of Contracts For Coronavirus Vaccine Development
Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2020)—Today, Rep. James E. Clyburn, the Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar requesting the agency’s coronavirus research contracts with the private sector.
“During the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Americans are counting on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to responsibly partner with the private sector to develop effective and affordable vaccines and therapeutics,” wrote the Chairs. “Together, we are seeking to determine whether these contracts include provisions to ensure affordability and prevent profiteering, and we seek documents and information about the Department’s funding of coronavirus research.”
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $3.5 billion to the Department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the “manufacturing, production and purchase, at the discretion of the Secretary, of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and active pharmaceutical ingredients.”
“The American taxpayers are investing a massive amount of money into these efforts to identify, develop, and disseminate vaccines and treatments,” wrote the Chairs. “They expect to earn a fair return on their investments, and the federal government has an obligation to use all tools at its disposal to ensure access for consumers.”
BARDA has entered into dozens of agreements with private companies to research and manufacture coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics, including:
- a $1.2 billion contract with AstraZeneca,
- $628 million in additional funding to Emergent BioSolutions,
- $608 million in contracts with Johnson & Johnson,
- a $430 million contract with Moderna Therapeutics,
- $98 million in contracts with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals,
- a $30 million contract with Sanofi, and
- a $25 million contract with Genentech.
HHS has shared only limited information to date with Congress and the American people. Government websites list a subset of contracts with the private sector, but do not disclose the terms, such as the allocation of any intellectual property rights between the government and private companies.
“In order to protect the health of our entire society, all Americans must be able to access approved vaccines and therapies easily, quickly, and affordably,” warned the Chairs. “It endangers all of us if companies are allowed to charge exorbitant prices that cause families to hesitate or even decline to obtain vaccines or treatments.”
Click here to read today’s letter.