Managing Conflict of Interest

The ACCME considers financial relationships to create actual conflicts of interest in CME when individuals have both a financial relationship with a commercial interest and the opportunity to affect the content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest.

For example:

  • a physician has received an unrestricted medical education grant from a pharmaceutical company to create and evaluate education materials to improve adherence to new guidelines for treating gastrointestinal bleeds.
  • The physician participates in departmental grand rounds and is scheduled to deliver a presentation on the new guidelines.
  • The physician must disclose the medical education grant (and any other financial relationship that s\he or her\his spouse maintains with a commercial entity) and the course planner or planning committee must review the content of the presentation to ensure it is free of any commercial bias and is based on best available medical evidence.
  • If the planner determines that there may be an issue with the presentation, we must discuss how to remedy the situation - and we'll discuss how on the following pages.
  • If the planner determines that the content is free of bias, bears no relationship to the presentation, or makes some other adjustment to resolve the conflict, then the presentation can go ahead with appropriate disclosures made to the participants for both the presenter and the planner. 

Financial relationships are considered relevant if financial benefit has accrued to any person involved in the CME activity, or their spouse/partner, within the last 12 months.

Financial benefit includes salary, any ownership interest (e.g. stock), consulting fees, honoraria, royalties, or other financial benefit.