July 7, 2020

The Honorable Lloyd Doggett
2307 Rayburn Bldg.,
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Jan Schakowsky
2367 Rayburn Bldg.,
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Peter A. DeFazio
2134 Rayburn Bldg.,
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Francis Rooney
120 Cannon Bldg.,
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
2413 Rayburn Bldg.,
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representatives Doggett, Schakowsky, DeLauro, DeFazio, Rooney:

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM), on behalf of our millions of members and supporters, endorses the Taxpayer Research and Coronavirus Knowledge Act (TRACK Act). We appreciate your leadership in addressing drug pricing and promoting transparency of federal investment in pharmaceutical research in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. NCPSSM is a membership organization acting to ensure the financial security, health, and the well-being of current and future generations of maturing Americans.

Congress has appropriated $7 billion to research and develop COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, and it is crucial that we know where taxpayer dollars are going and how they are being spent. The TRACK Act would require a single user-friendly database of federal biomedical investments in COVID-19 vaccines, drugs, therapies, medical devices, or other products, including:

  1. Full terms of all agreements made between the federal government and manufacturers, including recipients, amounts, timeline, non-financial support, and expenditure breakdown.

    This will ensure that taxpayers know exactly where their dollars are being invested and how manufacturers are spending it. Taxpayers can then hold them accountable if they spend excessive amounts on, for example, marketing or salary contributions rather than treatment, development, manufacturing, and distribution to the public.

  1. The prices and manufacturing capacity for products cleared for marketing or seeking approval, including repurposed drugs developed with federal support.

    Knowing the price of products will help monitor whether pharmaceutical companies are price-gouging COVID-19 treatments to increase profits.

  1. Associated patents and patent applications, including any federal ownership.

Publishing government patent ownership will allow taxpayers to monitor whether the government acts on its patent ownership rights to prioritize patient access to COVID-19 treatments. The bill also requires information on other manufacturer monopolies that might delay development of lower-priced generic versions.

The National Committee greatly appreciates your advocacy for affordable prevention and treatment for aging Americans and all people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation provides another essential tool for effective oversight and accountability of taxpayers’ investments.


Max Richtman
President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare