Commercial Interest

The ACCME, ANCC and ACPE define a “commercial interest” as any proprietary entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The ACCME, ANCC, and ACPE do not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests.

Financial Relationships

Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit.  Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected.  ACCME and pertinent accrediting bodies consider relationships of the person involved in the activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

Relevant Financial Relationships

ACCME and pertinent accrediting bodies focus on the financial relationships with commercial interests in the 12-month period preceding the time that the individual is being asked to assume a role controlling content of the activity.  ACCME and pertinent accrediting bodies have not set a minimal dollar amount for relationships to be significant.  Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship.  The ACCME defines “relevant’ financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest.

Conflict of Interest

Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.

Questions? Please contact Melissa Franz at melissa@isass.org.

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