March 28, 2019

Public-Private Partnerships: Driving Health Improvements Without Compromising Values

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in global health can be both effective – leveraging the resources of the private sector to improve health in areas where governments and NGOs have struggled – and controversial. A year ago, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was sharply criticized for partnering with the Heineken brewing company; the Fund ultimately suspended the partnership, citing concerns over Heineken’s use of female beer promoters.

In this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, HGHI Faculty Director Ashish Jha and HGHI Senior Writer Andrew Iliff propose ethical and governance guidelines for evaluating global health PPPs in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of such partnerships.

“The lack of established, objective criteria for evaluating public–private partnerships has meant that these questions are generally answered on an ad hoc basis, with decisions sometimes depending on which political groups can raise their voices the loudest,” write the authors. “Some observers have called for an impossibly high “do-no-harm” standard, under which partnerships should be formed only with companies whose products never harm public health. We believe that a better approach is needed.”

You can find the full article HERE.