Washington, DC – A day after Patients Over Pharma sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar requesting details on his appointment, including “whether Dr. Slaoui has been brought on as a federal employee, a Special Government Employee, an independent contractor, an advisory committee representative, or some other designation,” new reporting from the New York Times confirms that he has been designated as an independent contractor, exempt from federal disclosure and conflict of interest laws.
“We absolutely need our best scientists on board helping the federal government drive the development of a coronavirus vaccine, but bringing on the best shouldn’t mean giving up on basic transparency, accountability, and ethics rules that protect taxpayers and prevent the abuse of public power for personal gain,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Patients Over Pharma. “People across the country need to be able to trust that Trump’s vaccine development program is putting their interests first and isn’t being clouded by conflicts of interest and drug company bias, and that means Dr. Slaoui should submit himself to the ethics and disclosure rules that federal employees with far less power have to abide by every day.”
The new report also unearths additional conflicts of interest, including a significant holding in GlaxoSmithKline that he told the Trump Administration that he would refuse to divest, despite the potential for the drug company to benefit from decisions Dr. Slaoui could make from his government perch.
Last week Patients Over Pharma released initial background on Dr. Moncef Slaoui showing that he had received over $13.5 million from drug companies since 2016 alone and had close ties to GlaxoSmithKline, Moderna, Lonza, Medicxi, SutroVax, Artizan Biosciences, Brii Biosciences, Intellia Therapeutics, Galvani Bioelectronics, PhRMA, BIO.
Patients Over Pharma also released an analysis of Dr. Slaoui’s claim that he will donate the gains he made by delaying the divestment of Moderna stock showing that he stands to pocket up to $450K through the charitable tax deduction.