Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons Policy on Disclosing Financial Relationships with Commercial Interests and Managing Conflicts of Interest
July 2011 (revised April 2015, February 2018, October 2019)
- It is the responsibility of persons who serve as planners and faculty for accredited education to do so 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.
- It is the responsibility of planners and faculty to exercise the utmost good faith in their responsibilities regarding CME-granting activities. Planners and faculty should not use their positions or influence in such a way that a conflict might arise between their personal interests and the delivery of high quality, unbiased CME.
- It is recognized that conflicts of interest may 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 teaching by faculty or learning by participants. Any financial relationships with commercial interests and other potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed openly and fully so that listeners may form their own judgments about presentations. Appropriate means of disclosure include verbal announcements during oral presentations and written statements in abstracts, manuscripts, and syllabus materials. SAGES requires that all planners, presenters, and faculty members complete a form listing the financial relationships between themselves and their spouse/partner and commercial interests for the previous 12 months. This information is then reviewed and published in the written materials that accompany CME-granting activities. Non-compliance with this policy by planners/faculty will result in adverse actions for those individuals, up to and including dismissal of the individual from educational activities.
- Disclosures will be reviewed by the Conflict of Interest Committee and/or their designees in advance of the SAGES CME activity. The management of conflicts of interest for planners, presenters and faculty is determined by the SAGES Conflict Management Process (see attached).
- 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.” The ACCME states that an employee/owner of a commercial interest may not serve as a planner or speaker for an accredited CME activity when the topic to be discussed is relevant to the products or services of that commercial interest. The SAGES Conflict of Interest Committee (CIC) and the SAGES Executive Committee have determined that no employees/owners of a commercial interest may be appointed to SAGES Committees or to the SAGES Board. Additionally, no employees/owners of a commercial interest may serve in a position of control of content in SAGES CME-granting activities. This policy is applicable to planners, invited faculty, abstract presenters, and poster authors (if posters are approved for CME). Individuals who serve on the Board of commercial interest and who receive a salary from the commercial interest will be considered an employee. It is the general expectation of the ACCME that commercial interest employees/owners may not be involved in the content of accredited education. SAGES may consider an individual exception as long as it meets the ACCME’s three special-use case exceptions.
- SAGES members who are full time employees or owners of ”non- commercial interests”, as defined by the ACCME, may: (1) serve as planners, presenters or faculty for CME-granting SAGES activities, following the standard SAGES COI Committee policies and procedures; (2) be considered for appointment to selected SAGES Committees, at the discretion of the SAGES Executive Committee, and with the expectation that she/he (as with all Committee members) will recuse themselves from discussions and voting as appropriate; and (3) be considered for service on the SAGES Board, at the discretion of the SAGES Executive Committee and Nominating Committee, and with the expectation that she/he (as with all Board members) will recuse themselves from discussions and voting as appropriate.
- When an unlabeled use of a commercial product, or an investigational use not yet approved by the FDA for that marketing claim, is discussed during a CME-granting educational activity, SAGES requires that the speaker disclose that information.
- Presentations in CME-granting activities must give a balanced, evidence-based view of therapeutic options. Use of generic names is preferred. If trade names are used, those of several companies should be used rather than only that of a single supporting company.
- Recommendations for clinical practice in CME-granting activities should be based on the best-available scientific evidence from studies which conform to generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.
- Faculty and speakers should not receive payments from commercial interests to participate in CME-granting educational activities.
SAGES POLICY REGARDING ABSTRACTS
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 commercial 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.
Commercial Interest: any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.
Non-Commercial Interest: The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. Additionally, the ACCME considers the following types of organizations to be eligible for accreditation and free to control the content of CME: 501-C Non-profit organizations; Government organizations; Non-health care related companies; Liability insurance providers; Health insurance providers; Group medical practices; For-profit hospitals; For profit rehabilitation centers; For-profit nursing homes; Blood banks; Diagnostic laboratories.