It is the policy of IAS–USA to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all its educational activities. All parties with control over the content of IAS–USA activities (eg, members of the Board of Directors, Advisory Board Members, activity chairs, authors, faculty, and IAS–USA staff) are required to disclose to the organization and activity audience any financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) or provider(s) of commercial services with interests discussed in the activity (eg, presentation or article) within the previous 12 months. Financial interests or other relationships can include receipt of grants or research support, status as employee or consultant, stock or options holder, paid lecturer, paid writer/author, or member of speakers’ bureau, of the party or of his or her spouse or partner. The ACCME defines a financial interest as an interest of any dollar amount.
It is IAS–USA policy to separate commercial promotion from its core educational and informational activities. Individuals who conduct marketing or promotional activities for commercial firms may not contribute to IAS–USA programs. A marketing or promotional activity includes any activity in which the commercial entity controls key elements, such as speaker or topic selection that could be used to serve the entity’s commercial interests (eg, speakers’ bureaus, advertorials, etc). Individuals may not participate in most IAS–USA programs for 12 months after functioning in a promotional or marketing effort for a commercial firm. The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), a research conference, does allow presenters to take part in such activities, but conflicts of interest are resolved before their CROI presentations.
IAS–USA policy requires that it resolve any real or apparent conflict of interest that may influence the development, content, or delivery of its educational activities prior to the activity being delivered to participants.
The IAS–USA has several mechanisms for resolving conflicts of interest in educational activities. Our mechanisms to resolve the potential conflicts of faculty are to 1. recuse/replace the faculty; 2. have the faculty to divest him- or herself of the relationships that create a conflict; or 3. subject the decision of a faculty with a relevant conflict of interest to review by a reviewer who has no conflict of interest and who has sufficient expertise to plan the activity. If the conflict of interest cannot be resolved through these mechanisms, the party will be removed from the activity.
It is the policy of IAS–USA to publish the financial interests of all parties in control of the content of its activities on activity materials or, in cases where space is limited (eg, reprints of figures), on the IAS–USA website, through a web address printed on the activity material. This information will also be provided directly by the IAS–USA office upon request.
The IAS–USA documents the date of the disclosure along with financial relationship information. As previously stated, the information published will reflect financial conflicts incurred within the previous 12 months. Individuals who refuse to disclose financial interests will not participate in the CME activity. It should be understood that other organizations may have different policies with regard to financial conflicts and with regard to the time period covered in the disclosure of financial conflicts.
In collaborative projects (eg, publication of materials in medical literature), the IAS–USA may adhere to the additional disclosure and conflict-of-interest policies of the collaborating journal.