A trend towards charging for access to research findings, tools and databases is becoming more prominent globally. But charging for the use of research tools and databases that are vital to research supporting national and international policy development might be unjustified. Financial barriers to accessing these tools and databases disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries, who may have greater need for information that fuels research in their areas of concern. However, changing this trend is potentially possible. One example is the experience with the EuroQol-five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D), a generic measure of health status used in economic evaluations for resource allocation decisions. Increasingly, governments and health-care providers are using the EQ-5D tool in patient-reported outcome measures to monitor quality of health-care provision, diagnose and track disease progression, and involve patients in their health care. The EuroQol Group, which owns the intellectual property rights to the EQ-5D, recently terminated their policy of charging for noncommercial, nonresearch uses of the tool. We share a brief history of this development and examine these charging policies in the context of the EQ-5D’s use in national health-care research and policies, reflecting the trends and developments in the use of survey instruments on population health.