Financial Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy
Revised November 16, 2012
In support of APS’s mission to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering, a spirit and practice of transparency regarding conflict of interest is essential. Members’ potentially conflicted relationships may reflect upon the perceived scientific rigor of research and the ethics of clinical practice, as well as upon APS as an organization.
Disclosure requirements apply to all volunteers who work on behalf of the organization. This policy also pertains to relatives of the aforementioned, including spouse or partner, child, stepchild, or parent who receives more than one-half of his/her support from the candidate or from whom the candidate receives more than one-half of their support.
Disclosures must be made in full regarding current and recent (in the past year) relations or vested interests with private industry or with relevant business endeavors. We recommend that any financial relationship with industry (including salaried employees) be disclosed, as well as the nature of the relationship with any product/service which the person (APS member or proposed presenter) has a vested interest. “Industry” means a commercial entity with financial interests that would reasonably appear to be affected by the conduct or outcome of the APS activities. This term also includes any entity acting as the agent of a financially interested company, such as a clinical research organization. When a financial interest exceeds $0, the exact amount of the interest should be disclosed.
Significant Financial Interest includes but is not limited to the following:
- Salary, consulting fees, honoraria (including honoraria from a third party; if the original source is a financially interested company), gifts, or “in-kind” compensation from a financially interested company (or entitlement to same), whether for consulting, lecturing, travel, service on an advisory board, or for any other purpose not directly related to the reasonable costs of conducting the research (as specified in the research agreement with the sponsor), that when aggregated exceeds $0 from a single source during the prior twelve-month period or is expected to exceed $0 over the next twelve-month period. This includes situations where funding knowingly originates from industry or a commercial interest but was ‘passed through’ a non-profit or other organization
- Other business income, such as dividends, rents, capital gains, interest etc., from a financially interested company (or entitlement to the same) that when aggregated exceeds $0 during the prior twelve-month period or is expected to exceed $0 over the next twelve-month period.
- An equity interest, in the form of stock, stock options, real estate, or any other interest (e.g., recourse loans to a financially interested company) that when aggregated at current prices is greater than or equal to a 5% ownership interest or that exceeds $0 in value in a publicly-traded financially interested company.
- Equity interests as defined above (or entitlement to same) of any amount in a non-publicly-traded financially interested company.
- Royalty income or the right to receive future royalties under a patent, patent application or copyright, where the research is directly or indirectly related to the licensed technology or work.
- Any non-royalty payments (or entitlements to same) in connection with the research that are not directly related to the reasonable costs of the research (as specified in the agreement with the sponsor). This includes any bonus, incentives or milestone payments to the covered individual in excess of reasonable costs incurred as well as other types of financial support (e.g., funding research staff salaries).
- Service by a covered individual or his / her spouse or partner, child, stepchild or parents as a Board Member, Officer, Director, Partner, Trustee, etc., for a financially interested company, whether or not remuneration is received for such service.
- An appointment to serve on the scientific advisory board of a financially interested company unless the covered individual has no current significant financial interest in the financially interested company or the investigational product and agrees not to hold such an interest for a period of at least three years following completion of any related activities conducted with or under the auspices of APS.
Significant financial interest does not include the following:
- Interests of any amount in publicly traded, diversified mutual funds.
- Stock, stock options, real estate, or any other interest (e.g., recourse loans to a financially interested company) in a publicly traded, financially interested company when aggregated at current prices does not exceed $0 in value or equal a 5% ownership interest.
- Compensation for services in the form of salary and other payments from APS.
The following officials must disclose all potential COIs as defined above (a-h) at the time of their nomination for the position. These will be reviewed by (a sub-committee of the Ethics Committee) on a case by case basis for their potential to represent significant real or perceived conflicts. When such conflicts are believed to be present, a management plan will be created. This management plan may include a requirement for recusal from discussion or action on relevant issues, a requirement for divestiture, or other interventions as needed to avoid the possibility or appearance of inappropriate influence.
The COI review shall be performed, the management plan recommended, and the plan either accepted or rejected by the nominee, prior to official certification of the nomination.
- Immediate Past President
- Board of Directors
- Editor of Journal of Pain
- Scientific Program Chair