Selling Research, and It Pays
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1988 Nov 26; 297(6660): 1416.
While conceding that time has proven him wrong in doubting public acceptance of the idea of the "science shops," first sponsored by the Free University of Amsterdam to provide access to technical expertise for customers who could not afford more orthodox services, the author remains convinced that the somewhat analogous concept of "fee for service research," which offers experimental medical treatments for those who can afford to pay for them, is wrong. Such research has been justified as a private sector enterprise that provides patients who are unresponsive to standard forms of therapy with scientifically sound experimental options. However, the objections that such work might be kept secret and not contribute to medical knowledge, and that therapy would be available only to the rich, remain unanswered and pose an insurmountable obstacle to the support of this idea. (KIE abstract)