May 23, 2016 — This morning, the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce issued a report on the Sports and Health Research Program (SHRP), a partnership among the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Football League (NFL) and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). The following is the FNIH’s response to the report.
The FNIH acted appropriately, with integrity and transparency, in fulfilling its mandate under SHRP. As acknowledged by the Democratic Staff report, the governing documents among the FNIH, NIH and NFL made clear that the NIH had exclusive control over the scientific and administrative aspects of the program.
The report makes recommendations regarding communication issues that the FNIH has already identified and taken steps to address. The FNIH has strengthened protocols around communications among NIH, NIH researchers and FNIH donors that will prevent unauthorized contact among parties.
The FNIH has had a long history of successful and productive public-private partnerships in support of the NIH mission. These adjustments to governing agreements will help ensure the success of future scientific partnerships in support of human health.