There has been a lot written about the motives of for-profit companies wanting to interact with not-for-profit organizations to help provide resource support for programs, services, and other educational and research endeavors that non-profits might otherwise not be able to afford. But accepting funding from a for-profit company carries risks that may outweigh the benefits as has been noted in the development of careful guidelines for hospitals and their personnel relative to how they should interact with pharmaceutical companies and other corporate entities. But sometimes, for-profit companies share common values with non-profits in ways that can make the benefits of such a collaboration outweigh any perceived risks.
Take for example the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose resources to underwrite the cost of some of their educational programs and services are limited, and over the years has resulted in sponsorships of such programs from for-profit entities—but not without controversy in regard to establishing such sponsorships.
This is a complicated issue, and fortunately our current President of the AAP, Dr. Sandy Hassink (doi/10.1542/peds.2015-3438) has used her presidential year to work with the AAP’s Board of Directors and leadership to better establish guidelines and a structured approach to handling the for-profit relationships in which the Academy might consider engagement through a process called “shared values”.
She shares this approach in a Commentary being released this week in our journal. I encourage you to read it, think about it, and then share your thoughts with Dr. Hassink and in turn the AAP by responding to this blog, sending us an e-letter or posting a response on our Facebook or via Twitter.