Proposition 71 Oversight Committee Members Disclose Financial Holdings
The 29 members of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, the board created by Proposition 71, on Tuesday filed personal financial disclosure statements with the Fair Political Practices Commission, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. ICOC members were required to file personal disclosure statements within one month of joining the committee.
The disclosure statements indicated that some ICOC board members had financial connections to some biomedical firms, according to the Chronicle. For example, ICOC Vice Chair Ed Penhoet's disclosure form indicated that he held stock and other financial interests in 20 biotechnology companies. Penhoet owns holdings valued at more than $1 million each in Chiron and Renovis, two companies he helped create, as well as ZymoGenetics, a Seattle company that develops protein-based medications.
Penhoet said he has no financial interests in any companies that are likely to seek grants from the board. If a conflict did arise, Penhoet said he would "make a decision how to resolve the conflict."
ICOC chair Robert Klein said that he would monitor "actual conflicts" of interest and that he expects the board to adopt detailed guidelines on cases when a committee member might be required to refrain from voting.
However, the disclosures "did little to assuage the concern of some critics ... who [have] argued that more needs to be done to protect taxpayers and patients from backroom dealings colored by private interests," the Chronicle reports.
"It would be naïve for anybody in California to believe the good-old-boy network is not at play here," Deborah Burger, president of the California Nurses Association, said (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/19).
KPBS' "KPBS News" on Tuesday reported on forum held in La Jolla on Tuesday by supporters of Proposition 71. The segment includes comments from Dr. Evan Snyder of the Burnham Institute (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 1/18). The complete transcript and audio of the segment in RealPlayer are available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.