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Several advocacy groups petitioned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop making claims that it does not accept commercial support or have financial relationships with drug makers and other companies that may benefit from agency research.

In arguing their case, the groups contend that disclaimers appear in various CDC publications, even though the agency has actually accepted tens of millions of dollars of commercial support through the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The nonprofit, which was created by Congress to generate private sector support for the agency’s work, was launched in 1995.


The groups maintained the CDC Foundation accepted $161 million from corporations since its inception, with $79.6 million coming during fiscal years 2014 to 2018. These included $3.4 million that Pfizer (PFE) gave since 2016 for a program to prevent cryptococcal disease. Biogen (BIIB) gave $750,000 in fiscal year 2018 for a program on screening newborns for spinal muscular atrophy. And Merck (MRK) gave $1 million in fiscal year 2018 for a program for preventing maternal mortality.

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