The Benefits and Pitfalls of Health Services Research Funded by Proprietary Firms

Published In: Quality of Life Research, v. 3, no. 4, Editorial, Aug. 1994, p. 231-233

Posted on RAND.org on August 01, 1994

by Joel Kallich, Ron D. Hays

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This editorial, written in response to an article appearing in another professional journal, discusses the benefits and pitfalls of health services research funded by proprietary firms. The authors contend that, to the extent that privately supported research does not draw resources away from the public sector, there appears to be little reason to argue against such funding. Such research could only improve the delivery of health care by its sponsors or by firms paying for its products. Furthermore, if such research were to be published, it would effectively increase access by the research community to data from privately insured patient populations that have been previously unavailable. If the research is not published, no at-large public good would be achieved, but the private patient populations could still benefit. The opinions contained in this editorial are important as we enter an era where public/private cooperation is being espoused by people of many persuasions in the health services delivery and research fields.

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