Maloney and Clyburn Launch Investigation into Emergent BioSolutions’ Profits and Performance Under Federal Vaccine Contracts
Washington, D.C. (April 19, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. James E. Clyburn, Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, sent a letter to the top executives of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., launching an investigation into whether the company leveraged its relationship with a key Trump Administration official to profit from federal contracts despite a track record of raising prices and failing to meet contract requirements, and whether these actions impeded our nation’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
Clyburn requested that the company’s CEO, Robert G. Kramer, and Executive Chairman, Fuad El-Hibri, testify before the Select Subcommittee on May 19, 2021.
“Specifically, we are investigating reports that Emergent received multi-million-dollar contracts to manufacture coronavirus vaccines despite a long, documented history of inadequately trained staff and quality control issues,” the Chairs wrote. “Emergent received $628 million in June 2020 to establish the primary U.S. facility for manufacturing vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. Dr. Robert Kadlec, who served as Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response under President Trump and previously worked as a consultant for Emergent, appears to have pushed for this award despite indications that Emergent did not have the ability to reliably fulfill the contract.”
According to recent reports, a series of issues came to light last month related to quality control and staffing at Emergent’s Baltimore plant during the production of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This has not affected the safety and efficacy of vaccines available to the public, as none of the coronavirus vaccines produced at this site have been distributed to the public. FDA asked and Emergent agreed today to pause vaccine manufacturing at the plant. Nevertheless, the Oversight Committee and the Select Subcommittee have serious concerns regarding the contracts awarded to Emergent.
“We commend the Biden Administration for moving swiftly to address the manufacturing problems by directing Johnson & Johnson to assume full responsibility for vaccine manufacturing at your company’s plant,” the Chairs wrote. “Nevertheless, we remain concerned about the circumstances that led to the award of this contract under the prior Administration and whether Emergent’s manufacturing errors could hinder vaccination efforts that are critical to saving lives and ending the coronavirus crisis.”
In today’s letter, Maloney and Clyburn announced they are also investigating Emergent’s actions to unduly influence anthrax vaccine assets currently stockpiled in the Strategic National Stockpile.
Clyburn requested Emergent’s President and CEO, Mr. Robert G. Kramer, and Emergent’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Fuad El-Hibri, testify at a hearing on May 19, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Click here to read the Chairs’ letter to Mr. Kramer and Mr. El-Hibri seeking documents and information from Emergent.