The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) defines a conflict of interest as:
“When an individual’s interests are aligned with those of a commercial interest the interests of the individual are in ‘conflict’ with the interests of the public. 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. The potential for maintaining or increasing the value of the financial relationship with the commercial interest creates an incentive to influence the content of the CME – an incentive to insert commercial bias."
Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Office of Continuing Medical Education, in compliance with the ACCME, has developed methods of identifying potential conflicts of interest as well as mechanisms to resolve them prior to the CME activity.
All planners and presenters complete a disclosure form.
When relevant relationships are disclosed and when the content may be influenced by such a relationship, a potential conflict of interest is determined to exist.
- Conflicts of interest may be resolved by asking for clarification of the conflict or having the presentation peer reviewed and found compliant. If a conflict of interest cannot be resolved, the planning committee member or presenter may be asked to change the content, control of the content, or as a last resort, be replaced.
- Disclosure of all relationships and the resolution of conflicts of interest will be provided to the CME participants in advance of the activity.