Political Issues Associated With Medical Research

Subject: Sciences
Pages: 2
Words: 359
Reading time:
2 min

The dissemination of research findings is often influenced by the pressing need to satisfy the demands of policymakers. The relationship between researchers and policymakers is often poor because of occupational cultural differences and the unrealistic expectations held by both the legislators and the researchers over one another. Political and institutional pressures influence the dissemination of research findings, which in turn affects public health policy.

Various stakeholders often influence the prevailing issues of concern to governments and their ways of understanding problems. In the healthcare industry, the stakeholders include health professionals, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and the government, each advocating for different competing interests. Surprisingly, these stakeholders have a great influence on the circulation and dissemination of information between research institutes. A small, highly networked elite group, national or global, controls the dissemination of research information. As a result, power relations in the government affect resource allocation, which influences the ability of practitioners and researchers to conduct research; however, for effective translation of health research into health policy, the researchers should provide expert advice as opposed to taking sides.

Public health policy usually involves negotiations between the government policymaking groups and the practitioners. A collaborative approach involving the policymakers and researchers in areas of public health such as back pain can provide supportive evidence to influence health policy decisions. Through these partnerships, policy development and evaluation can be developed to cover large sections of the population, such as the tobacco cessation policy that ensures that health insurance providers cover patients under tobacco cessation treatment. However, political pressures, including political perceptions, acceptability of the research by the public, and social values, influence public policy decisions. In addition, societal values, availability of financial resources, and lobbying have a major influence on public health decisions.

Another factor that affects the dissemination of research findings is the lack of public access to research publications. To enhance public access to these findings, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented a policy that requires NIH-funded research publications to be made public, thereby removing the subscription controls that deny the public from accessing the information.