A petition from advocacy groups is calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stop claiming it does not have relationships with or accept financial support from drug manufacturers and other companies that might benefit from agency research.
The CDC has accepted millions of dollars through the CDC Foundation, according to the groups behind the petition. During fiscal years 2014 through 2018, the CDC Foundation received $79.6 million from companies like Pfizer, Biogen, and Merck. Since it was created by Congress in 1995, the nonprofit organization has accepted $161 million from corporations.
Public Citizen, Knowledge Ecology International, Liberty Coalition, Project on Government Oversight, and U.S. Right to Know filed the petition. The groups are concerned about the pharmaceutical industry’s possible undue influence on medical research and practice.
While CDC disclaimers state that the agency doesn’t accept commercial support, the CDC media office has contradicted this. “The CDC claims its public-private partnerships are synergistic and beneficial,” the petition states, “but these partnerships are incompatible with its disclaimers of no commercial support and no relationships with manufacturers of commercial products. The CDC cannot have it both ways: It must end this oxymoronic situation of defending its receipt of corporate money while simultaneously denying that it does.”