Policy on Commercial Support and Conflict of Interest

ALL content authors are required to disclose any financial relationship(s) with an ACCME-defined commercial interest (“industry”). Also, no content author may be an employee of a commercial interest. In accordance with the SAGES Continuing Education Committee and Conflict of Interest Task Force new CME policy, all content authors are required to disclose this year. Also, no content author may be an employee of an ACCME-defined commerical interest. According to the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), “A commercial interest is considered any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.” Click here for full definition and a list of all exceptions. For example, for-profit hospitals, group-practices, government organizations, etc., are not considered ACCME-defined commercial interest. However, surgical device companies and pharmaceutical companies are commercial interests. No abstract will be accepted if any of the content authors are employees of a commercial interest.

  1. It is the responsibility of persons who make a presentation or speakers who lecture to make such presentations and lectures in an honest and open manner, exercising their best skill and judgment for the benefit of the participants, who, in turn, seek to improve the care given to their patients.
  2. It is the responsibility of speakers and presenters to exercise the utmost good faith in all information and presentations touching upon their responsibilities as teachers at CME activities. They should not use their positions, or knowledge gained there from, in such a way that a conflict might arise between the interest of quality CME and the interest of the individual.
  3. It is recognized that conflicts of interest can arise in many different situations and instances. Although it is recognized that a degree of duality of interest or even a frank conflict of interest may arise from time to time, such duality or conflict should not influence adversely the quality of the teaching by faculty or learning by the participants. Any such conflicts should be presented openly so that the listeners may form their own judgments about the presentation. There should be full disclosure of the facts of the presenters’ involvement within an area of potential conflict such as the manufacture of a pharmaceutical product or device which might be discussed. Appropriate means of disclosure include announcement during oral presentation and/or a written statement as part of abstract, complete manuscript, or in syllabus materials. SAGES requires speakers and faculty members to complete a form with disclosure information. This information will be published. Non-compliance with this policy will result in the dismissal of the faculty member.
  4. When an unlabeled use of a commercial product, or an investigational use not yet approved for any purpose is discussed during an educational activity, SAGES requires the speaker to disclose that the product is not labeled for the use under discussion or that the product is still investigational.
  5. Presentations must give a balanced view of therapeutic options. Faculty use of generic names will contribute to this impartiality. If trade names are used, those of several companies should be used rather than only that of a single supporting company.
  6. All the recommendations involving clinical medicine in a CME activity must be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients. All scientific research referred to, reported or used in CME in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection and analysis.
  7. Faculty and speakers should not receive payments from commercial interests to participate in an accredited SAGES activity.