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TODAY: Bipartisan, Bicameral Vaccine Funding Transparency Legislation Introduced as Health Subcommittee Hearing Reviews COVID-19 Immunizations

February 26, 2021

***Press Release***

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 26, 2021

Contact: Kate Stotesbery

202-494-4620

 

TODAY: Bipartisan, Bicameral Vaccine Funding Transparency Legislation Introduced as Health Subcommittee Hearing Reviews COVID-19 Immunizations

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chair, introduces the Taxpayer Research and Coronavirus Knowledge Act (TRACK Act), joined by over 40 House sponsors, along with Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Mike Braun (R-IN), to enable American taxpayers to monitor their billions for investments in COVID-19 research and vaccine development. This afternoon, at 2 P.M. EST/1 P.M. CST, Chairman Doggett will also chair a Health Subcommittee hearing, “Making the Most of Our Shot: The Path Forward on COVID-19 Immunizations,” which will explore the need for accountability for taxpayer vaccine investments, how to assure more equitable and efficient distribution, and more. The hearing will be livestreamed here.

“While pleased with vaccine advances, taxpayers who financed their development deserve to know more about deals made with manufacturers. Our Taxpayer Research and Coronavirus Knowledge (TRACK) Act represents a strong new oversight tool, showing how billions of public funds are being used—information any private investor would demand,” said Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX). “In so many ways, this is our shot—our shot to contain the virus and our shot, developed and manufactured with at least $19 billion taxpayer dollars. The TRACK Act ensures that the taxpayers, as angel investors, learn how their resources have been spent and what kind of deal they got in these secreted agreements.”

“Breakthrough COVID treatments and vaccines are vital to our efforts to fight the coronavirus—but we don’t need to put up with sweetheart deals, cronyism, or fraud to get them,” said Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR). “Creating a database to track where taxpayer money is going will help provide the transparency and accountability the American people deserve, and I will continue to do all that I can to ensure that their best interests are put above pharmaceutical companies’ bottom lines.”

“With the billions of dollars that Congress has now spent on research and development for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, increased transparency into how this money is being used is needed now more than ever. This legislation ensures transparency into the vital aspects of the research, along with oversight and record keeping requirements for taxpayer funded research and development that have been ignored for far too long, which is a win for all Americans,” said Senator Mike Braun (R-IN).

The TRACK Act would require a single database of federal biomedical investment information for COVID-19, including:

  • Recipients, amounts, timeline, and expenditure breakdown, including prior and ongoing funding commitments for research, development, and manufacturing
  • Non-financial support, including use of government facilities, equipment, and personnel
  • Associated patents and patent applications, including any federal ownership
  • Associated clinical trial data
  • Full terms of the agreements made between the federal government and a manufacturer

TRACK Act Endorsements: Public Citizen, Patients for Affordable Drugs, Families USA, Niskanen Center, Indivisible, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Center for Medicare Advocacy, American Federation of Teachers, Project on Government Oversight, MomsRising, Lower Drug Prices Now, Social Security Works, National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), and, Right to Health Action.

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