ASCO's Policies and Safeguards for Relationships with Companies

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is dedicated to advancing the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer through education and clinical research. The integrity of scientific and educational programs conducted by ASCO is dependent on the management of potential conflicts of interest. Moreover, as a continuing medical education provider accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), and signatory to the Council of Medical Specialty Societies’ Code for Interactions with Companies, ASCO strives for balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities through appropriate disclosure and management of financial interests, among other things. The ASCO Conflict of Interest Policy is intended to help guide the management of potential conflicts, primarily through disclosure of all financial or other interests that might be construed as resulting in actual, potential, or apparent conflicts. ASCO’s Conflict of Interest Policy has been in existence since 1994 and was updated in July 1996, November 2002, March 2005, and April 2013. The new Policy is titled “Policy for Relationships With Companies.”

Although the ASCO Conflict of Interest Policy relies primarily on disclosure of financial and other interests, it also recognizes that some financial relationships are inconsistent with responsible clinical research practices and cannot be managed with disclosure alone. ASCO’s Conflict of Interest Policy does not create a presumption of impropriety in the existence of financial interests or other relationships of a commercial nature. Instead, it recognizes the many factors that can influence judgments about clinical research data and represents a desire to make as much information as possible available to those reviewing the data before presentation or publication.

ASCO conducts a number of activities connected to clinical research, whether directly or indirectly, including scientific and educational programs at the ASCO Annual Meeting and other meetings; scientific journals; educational and professional publications; health services research and clinical guidelines development; and the development of public policy positions on scientific matters. ASCO requires the participants in these activities—and, indeed, all committee and Board activities—to disclose financial interests or other relationships with companies.

ASCO Policy for Relationships with Companies Goes into Effect Soon; 2014 Annual Meeting is not Affected

As a reminder, ASCO’s new Policy for Relationships with Companies goes into full effect for activities commencing on or after April 22, 2014. The 2014 Annual Meeting is not affected by the new policy. The author restrictions set out in Section V will not be enforced, pending a two-to-three-year period of data-gathering and analysis. All other aspects of the policy will be operational, including new disclosure questions that gather general information about relationships, in connection with meetings, journals, and volunteer services. ASCO will also be initiating an option for unified disclosure across all ASCO activities. The 2013 policy replaces the old policy from 2005. PI restrictions under the 2005 policy are discontinued after the 2014 Annual Meeting. The first meeting operating under the new policy is the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium; the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting is covered under the 2005 policy. If you have any questions, please contact COI@asco.org.

ASCO 2013 COI Policy


Policies


For further information, please see the following documents: