Partnerships between the public and private sectors are necessary in public health and health care. Each partner provides skills, resources, and capabilities. When the public sector, including government, enters into a partnership with a nongovernmental or corporate entity, it is important to determine in advance whether there are real or perceived ethical, financial, or programmatic risks to the organization that might need mitigation.
This article describes how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approached assessing ethical considerations of public-private partnerships, especially those involving monetary or in-kind gifts.
There are practices that can be applied no matter the size or structure of the organization that can lead to transparency and accountability for a potential partnership.
Examples in this article include a list of practical considerations to review before entering into a new partnership, as well as illustrative anecdotes.