Policy on Pharmaceutical Company Sponsorship of Meeting Attendees
The INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH Program is conducted in a manner consistent with the FDA Policy Statement on Industry Supported Scientific and Educational Activities, the AMA Guidelines on Gifts to Physicians, and the Accreditation Counsel for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
An Example from the AMA Guidelines on Gifts to Physicians follows.
Any gifts accepted by physicians individually should primarily entail a benefit to patients and should not be of substantial value. Accordingly, textbooks, modest meals and other gifts are appropriate if they serve a genuine educational function. Cash payments should not be accepted. The use of drug samples for personal or family use is permissible as long as these practices do not interfere with patient access to drug samples. It would not be acceptable for non-retired physicians to request free pharmaceuticals for personal use or for use by family members.
Individual gifts of minimal value are permissible as long as the gifts are related to the physician’s work (e.g., pens and notepads).
The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs defines a legitimate “conference” or “meeting” as any activity, held at an appropriate location, where (a) the gathering is primarily dedicated, in both time and effort, to promoting objective scientific and educational activities and discourse (one or more educational presentation(s) should be the highlight of the gathering), and (b) the main incentive for brining attendees together is to further their knowledge on the topic(s) being presented. An appropriate disclosure of financial support or conflict of interest should be made.
Subsidies to underwrite the costs of continuing medical education conferences or professional meetings can contribute to the improvement of patient care and therefore are permissible. Since the giving of a subsidy directly to a physician by a company’s sales representative may create a relationship which could influence the use of the company’s products, any subsidy should be accepted by the conference’s sponsor who in turn can use the money to reduce the conference’s registration fee. Payments to defray the costs of a conference should not be accepted directly from the company by the physicians attending the conference.
Subsidies from industry should not be accepted directly or indirectly to pay for the costs of travel, lodging or other personal expenses of physicians attending conferences or meetings, nor should subsidies be accepted to compensate for the physicians’ time. Subsidies for hospitality should not be accepted outside of modest meals or social events held as a part of a conference or meeting. It is appropriate for faculty at conferences or meetings to accept reasonable honoraria and to accept reimbursement for reasonable travel, lodging and meal expenses. It is also appropriate for consultants who provide genuine services to receive reasonable compensation and to accept reimbursement for reasonable travel, lodging and meal expenses. Token consulting or advisory arrangements cannot be used to justify the compensation of physicians for their time or their travel, lodging, and other out-of-pocket expenses.