H

e was greeted like a star philanthropist.

The world’s richest doctor had just made a $12 million gift to the University of Utah. Members of the university community were urged to come thank him. And so, a crowd gathered.

This is a STAT Plus article and is only available to STAT Plus subscribers.
To read the full story, subscribe to STAT Plus or log in to your account.
Good news: your first 30 days are on us.

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • I believe that when Yale built the Beineke Rare Book Library which opened in 1963 it was built with marble from a quarry in Vermont which was owned by the Beinekes. If that was true, the Beinekes enjoyed a charitable deduction for donating funds for the library and some valuable personal collections as well as realizing profits from the sale of the marble used. The building, despite some criticism at the time it was built, is a jewel on the Yale campus. I believe the Beinekes were even good enough to contribute funds for an endowment to maintain the building.
    I don’t know Patrick Soon-Schiong but I believe he did a wonderful thing in contributing funds to the University, even if it entailed a tie-in purchase of equipment manufactured by one of his companies. I am sure the University of Utah is thrilled. Someday I and other Americans may benefit from cancer or genetic research originating from these transactions. I find it unlikely that a billionaire ($9 billion) would be trying to deceive investors when it appears he owns 60% of the common stock of the company involved. Was he trying to deceive himself? The usual riffraff of plaintiff lawyers all smell blood and appear to be salivating at taking advantage of the “deep pockets” of someone who is trying to make the world a better place.
    Lastly, STAT and it’s owner John Henry appear to be, unwittingly or not, facilitating a bear raid by exaggerating or inventing negative publicity to line the pockets of short sellers. One should read “Black Edge” by Michael Lewis for a look at the really seamy side of investing which, given his background, John Henry is probably familiar with.

  • He has $9000M and can’t just give away $12M without strings attached? And along the way benefitting from cancer? I’d agree there is an “optics” problem. What goes around comes around, Doctor.

  • shady right from the start. another theranos in the making… More people should ask questions when Millionaires and like start getting involved in so called “Cancer Moonshots”. btw, also invested in allscripts so the deal done w/ Allscripts is likely shady as well on so called precision medicine. no one knew what what exactly was being sold. product/ service? HUH and the so called Health systems as users is probably false counting.

  • “Highly unusual?” “Indirect self-dealing?” This is just a clever kick-back. Because it’s a university and there are a lot of lawyers and doctors and university administrators involved, they prefer to use this plethora of euphemisms to describe it, but it is nothing more than what every large construction company in the world does every day. This guy should be arrested. It doesn’t matter how well constructed the contract; a kick-back is a kick-back. This is one of the innumerable ethical problems inherent in the current medical profession; it doesn’t have any ethics. At least none that are effective. They kill people every day for reasons that they can’t explain and won’t admit. The whole system needs to be blown to bits and re-started with a U.S. Marshall standing at every nurses station in the country.

  • Most wealthy (ultra) who promise to donate their wealth to charities usually start their own charities and donate heavily to their own causes. Remember the Gates idea of donating half the wealth of the megarich to give back. 99% donated their wealth to themselves. So this is typical behavior.

  • The key lessons to be learned from this situation are to ask: what’s in it for the donor beyond the tax write-off for the donation; whether the lawyer assigned to review the donor contract has the requisite expertise in the discipline in which the funds will be used so as to be better assess the impact of restrictions on how the funds are to be used; and a clear set of guidelines about what donations can ethically be accepted. The university has some work to do on each of the foregoing.

  • Great article but let’s not forget: the university – clearly greedy to meet fundraising goals – agreed to this gift and that’s also why universities have lawyers — to ensure that development people don’t screw up. Let the IRS investigate if anything is illegal. The blame sits squarely with the University

Recommended Stories

Sign up for our biotech newsletter, The Readout

A guide to what’s new in biotech — delivered straight to your inbox every weekday morning.