NIH takes pharma dollars despite advisory committee recommendations

(Nora Feddal)

Anyone who knows me would know that is not a typical news source for me. In fact, when this story was sent to me, I started from a place of skepticism. However, this story about opioid manufacturers pouring money into NIH provides all the receipts.

The story explains everything clearly and provides lots of direct links to sources to support its statements. Read the whole thing.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) both have foundations that support their work.
    • They are supposed to report who donates to the foundations, but they list many donations as “anonymous.”
    • Congress has directed them to stop listing donations “anonymous” but they continue to do so.
  • NIH has an advisory committee that issued 12 ethics recommendations about opioid industry partnerships to NIH’s director.
    • They recommended using only federal dollars (no industry dollars) in their efforts to address the opioid crisis.
    • They recommended that, if they accept industry dollars, that they not accept funding from companies involved in litigation related to the opioid crisis.
    • They also recommended complete transparency.
  • The director of NIH politely rejected these recommendations.
  • NIH has accepted millions from various manufacturers and lobbying organizations.
    • NIH’s foundation accepted a $2.5 to $5 million donation from Johnson & Johnson last year.
    • Johnson & Johnson is represented on the NIH foundation board and on a committee guiding NIH’s efforts to address opioid addiction.
    • An Oklahoma court recently found “Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis and ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million.”
    • PhRMA, Pfizer and the Sackler family are also represented on NIH boards and committees.