WASHINGTON (CNN) - A series of e-mail exchanges between officials at the Department of Health and Human Services shows growing alarm at the amount of projected profit from a government contract for a drug company whose controlling shareholder is a longtime Democratic Party activist.
Ronald Perelman is controlling shareholder of Siga Technologies and a longtime Democratic Party activist and fundraiser. He's also a large contributor to Republicans, but has been a particular friend of the Obama White House.
Also on Siga's board of directors is Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, who has had close relations with the Obama administration and who has supported President Barack Obama's health care initiatives.
In May 2011, Health and Human Services awarded Siga a no-bid contract worth nearly $433 million to develop and produce 1.7 million doses of an anti-viral smallpox drug called STS-246. The drug would augment the existing supply of smallpox vaccine now in U.S. control.
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