The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) was reaccredited with commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) in 2010, and we are accredited through 2016. We continuously strive to ensure that the education activities planned and conducted by our faculty meet generally accepted ethical standards as codified by the ACCME, the Food and Drug Administration, and the American Medical Association's Guide for Gifts to Physicians.
To this end, the American Geriatrics Society's Professional Education Executive Committee has developed the following policy on Resolution of Conflicts on Interest. This policy provides a framework to address conflict-of-interest issues as they arise, and is based on our interpretation of the 2004 Updated ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.
Under this policy, everyone who is in a position to control the content of an education activity has disclosed to us all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest and under which we work to resolve conflicts of interest. A commercial interest is defined by ACCME as any proprietary entity producing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.
Resolution of Conflicts of Interest
Should the AGS determine that a conflict of interest exists as a result of a financial relationship a planner, author or presenter or their spouse/partner may have, the AGS will resolve the conflict prior to offering the activity. ACCME has defined circumstances that create a conflict of interest as being those that occur when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.
Each faculty member's conflict of interest will be resolved on an individual basis. Some examples of how the AGS may resolve conflicts of interest by altering control over content include but are not limited to the following:
- Ask planners, authors or faculty members to divest themselves of the relationship that is producing the conflict of interest.
- Peer review content before presentation or publication.
- Require that recommendations for clinical care be based on the best available published evidence or best practice guidelines.
- If a proposed faculty member has a conflict of interest related to the content, choosing another faculty member who does not have a relationship to the commercial interests related to the content.
- Changing the focus of the CME activity so that the content is not about products or services of the commercial interest that is the basis of the conflict of interest.
- Changing the role of a person with a conflict of interest within the activity so that it is no longer about products or services of the commercial interest. For example, an individual with a conflict of interest regarding products for treatment of a condition could address the pathophysiology or diagnosis of the condition, rather than therapeutics.
- Limiting the content to a report without recommendations. If an individual has been funded by a commercial company to perform research, the individual's presentation may be limited to the data and results of the research. Someone else can be assigned to address broader implications and recommendations.
- Limiting the sources for recommendations. Rather than having a person with a conflict of interest present personal recommendations or personally select the evidence to be presented, we would limit the role of the person to reporting recommendations based on formal structured reviews of the literature with the inclusion and exclusion criteria stated ('evidence-based').
Planners, authors and presenters are notified in writing of the AGS policies on Disclosure and Resolution of Conflicts of Interest and the basis of this policy in the ACCME guidelines