In Bloomberg Law, Research Attorneys Examine DOJ False Claims Act on Foreign Influence in Science
In a Bloomberg Law article published on Dec. 20, health care and life sciences regulatory & compliance partner Mark Barnes (Boston) and counsel Valerie Bonham (Washington, D.C.) comment on a $5.5 million False Claims Act (FCA) settlement announced last week relating to National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and undisclosed investigator affiliations with the People’s Republic of China. This settlement marks the first-known use of the FCA to address foreign threats to U.S. taxpayer-funded research.
Mr. Barnes and Ms. Bonham explain that using the FCA to go after undue foreign influence sends a signal to federal research grantee institutions about the need to be proactive in evaluating foreign collaborations and candid in responding to NIH, and other federal funders, about investigators’ foreign academic collaborations and foreign-sourced personal income. The FCA settlement signals new intensity in the government’s enforcement approach.