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Sharing the benefits of research fairly: two approaches
  1. Joseph Millum
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joseph Millum, Clinical Center Department of Bioethics/Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, 1C118, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; millumj{at}cc.nih.gov

Abstract

Research projects sponsored by rich countries or companies and carried out in developing countries are often described as exploitative. One important debate about the prevention of exploitation in research centres on whether and how clinical research in developing countries should be responsive to local health problems. This paper analyses the responsiveness debate and draws out more general lessons for how policy makers can prevent exploitation in various research contexts. There are two independent ways to do this in the face of entrenched power differences: to impose restrictions on the content of benefit-sharing arrangements, and to institute independent effective oversight. Which method should be chosen is highly dependent on context.

  • Research ethics
  • health policy
  • benefit sharing
  • exploitation
  • responsiveness
  • distributive justice
  • informed consent
  • philosophical ethics
  • political philosophy
  • research ethics

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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