Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

A Role for Public-Private Partnerships in Controlling Neglected Diseases?

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

A Role for Public-Private Partnerships in Controlling Neglected Diseases?

Article excerpt

Public-private partnerships mean different things to different people, depending on the values of the individuals and organizations concerned. They raise numerous political, social, public health, economic and commercial issues. Partnerships formed to promote product research, development and access, however, can only work effectively if the collaborating organizations have a common goal, however their values may differ.

In developed economies, members of the public and private sectors are continually discussing shared concerns, often through well-defined structures. Despite tension, a modus operandi has emerged whereby legislative, market and societal forces can operate to accommodate the needs of both sectors. This can result in a sustainable balance of power and flow of resources and rewards while generating wealth that leads to progress in health.

In many developing economies, however, a sustainable balance of this kind does not exist. It is widely believed that in addition to national inputs, external resources will be required if health is to be improved. External resources can come through donor governments, international organizations, philanthropic foundations, nongovernmental organizations and the private for-profit sector. The underlying question about investment for health in developing countries is: who has what responsibilities and obligations? …

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