ASCO has released its new conflict of interest policy, ASCO Policy for Relationships With Companies, which updates its earlier policy in key ways that are designed to increase transparency in relationships with commercial interests.
The new policy establishes a more comprehensive disclosure framework that will gather information about financial relationships between individuals and health-care companies and impose new restrictions for authors of original research who publish in or present at ASCO forums.
“As a leading source of evidence-based cancer information worldwide, ASCO deeply values the trust of its members, the wider oncology community, and the public,” said ASCO Immediate Past President Sandra M. Swain, MD, FACP. “In adopting this new conflict of interest policy, ASCO’s goal is to recognize beneficial collaborations that advance scientific progress, while remaining vigilant about the potential for bias in science and professional education.”
Specifically, the new ASCO policy requires disclosure of eight types of interactions with health-care companies: (1) compensated employment, (2) leadership positions, (3) consulting activities, (4) speaking engagements, (5) expert testimony, (6) ownership interests, (7) research funding, and (8) patents or other intellectual property interests.
ASCO is establishing a “general disclosure” requirement that will gather a range of information about an individual’s interactions with companies to help inform any ASCO activity in which someone might be involved. This requirement allows for greater transparency and consistency across
ASCO’s scientific and educational programs. ASCO’s earlier policy required authors, presenters, and ASCO volunteers to complete a separate disclosure for each ASCO activity.
New Author Restrictions
Additionally, the new ASCO policy will require first, last, and corresponding authors of original research to meet a clear standard of financial independence from commercial funders of their research. While the conflict of interest policy becomes effectively immediately, the author restrictions will apply to original research initiated after April 22, 2014. Until that time, clinical trial abstracts and articles will still be subject to ASCO’s earlier COI policy, which focuses on the role of principal investigators.
The new ASCO policy applies to individuals who engage in ASCO volunteer activities, present research findings through ASCO’s continuing medical education programs, and develop ASCO clinical practice guidelines, and authors who submit abstracts and publish in its journals (Journal of Clinical Oncology and Journal of Oncology Practice).
To read the policy, please go to: http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/early/2013/04/22/JCO.2013.49.5002 ■
© 2013. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.