According to an investigative report by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), two regulatory officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involved with vaccine oversight accepted jobs at Moderna after approving the experimental COVID-19 shot.

The investigation revealed the all-to-common revolving door between the public health agency and Big Pharma.

Doran Fink, a physician-scientist, worked at the FDA with a focus on the regulation of vaccines.

“Starting as a clinical reviewer in 2010, he was promoted to lead medical officer in the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review, overseeing a small team of medical officers responsible for infectious diseases and related biological products,” Peter Doshi, BMJ senior editor, writes.

“Fink’s LinkedIn profile states that he finished his role at the FDA in December 2022. Two months later he was working at Moderna, heading the translational medicine and early clinical development programme in infectious diseases. He is one of two regulators The BMJ has found to have recently moved to Moderna from the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review,” Doshi writes.

Advertisement

From the BMJ:

The BMJ has found that the FDA keeps no records on where employees go after they leave government service. Nor does it require employees to undergo an approval or clearance process before taking up an industry job. Employees are required to adhere to post-government employment guidance: restrictions include a permanent ban on “switching sides,” defined as “a lifetime ban on communicating to or appearing before the government on behalf of their new employer or anyone else regarding specific party matters in which they participated personally and substantially during their entire government service.” And those who have begun seeking or negotiating an industry job “must immediately recuse from participation in any official matter that involves the prospective employer as an identified party.” Adherence, however, is inevitably self-enforced.

Holman says, “The revolving door is particularly abusive in agencies that have a huge flood of money going in. That’s a big problem with the FDA, especially with the pandemic and Operation Warp Speed”—referring to the public health-military-industrial partnership tasked with expediting a coronavirus vaccine to market.

“Similarly to Fink, Jaya Goswami started at the FDA in its Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in March 2020. As a medical officer she had, in her words, ‘broad oversight over vaccines and biologics clinical development’ and was responsible for evaluating whether the clinical data for Moderna’s covid vaccine met regulatory standards for approval; licensure was granted at the end of January 2022. Goswami’s LinkedIn profile states that she left the FDA in June 2022 and that same month started a new role as director of clinical development in infectious diseases at Moderna,” Doshi continued.

Cont. from the BMJ:

Goswami and Fink did not respond to requests for an interview. The BMJ asked Goswami, Fink, Moderna, and the FDA whether either of the former regulators sought guidance from the FDA’s Office of Ethics and Integrity before moving to Moderna, as well as whether they recused themselves from any FDA matters related to their employment search. The FDA instructed The BMJ to file a Freedom of Information Act request for this information, which The BMJ has done, and Moderna’s vice president of communications and media, Chris Ridley, replied, “We have no comment on your inquiry.”

At Moderna, Goswami has been involved in the company’s efforts to bring to market an mRNA vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (mRNA-1345). In July this year the company announced that it had submitted applications for regulatory approval in the United States, the European Union, Australia, and Switzerland. In the US the review can be expected to be conducted by the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review, the group Fink and Goswami departed.

Although Moderna struggled for years to bring a product to market, its fortunes changed with the experimental mRNA COVID-19 shot.

The Epoch Times explained:

According to Moderna, the company made $18.5 billion in 2021 from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, more than $19 billion in 2022, and projects sales of its COVID-19 vaccine will reach at least $6 billion in 2023.

Dr. Doshi, writing for The BMJ, warns that this is another sign of the “revolving door” between pharmaceutical companies and the regulators entrusted with regulating their products.

Both FDA employees worked in vaccine regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic and joined Moderna—whose only product was its COVID-19 vaccine.

“The revolving door is particularly abusive in agencies that have a huge flood of money going in. That’s a big problem with the FDA,” Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, told The BMJ.

Holman was referring to the federal funding Moderna received as part of Operation Warp Speed that helped expedite the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines. Holman suggests a “cooling-off period” of at least two years to break down close relationships and networks that could present an ethical problem for employees who leave regulatory agencies for the companies whose products they regulate.

The FDA has repeatedly shown it operates as a marketing arm for pharmaceutical manufacturers. 

The FDA-Moderna revolving door revealed by the BMJ’s investigation is additional evidence of this corruption. 

Join The Conversation. Leave a Comment.


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.