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.
Public-Private Partnerships Team, Office of the Chief of Staff, Office of the Director (Mss Yassanye and Anason), and Public Health Ethics and Strategy Unit, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of Science (Dr Barrett), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Correspondence: Drue H. Barrett, PhD, Public Health Ethics and Strategy Unit, Office of Science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mail Stop D-50, Atlanta, GA 30329 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Human Participant Compliance Statement: This work did not involve research involving human subjects.
The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.