Conflict of Interest Policy
An officer or member of the Board of Directors (hereinafter “Board”) of the American Pain Society (APS), when acting in any official or quasi-official capacity on behalf or under the auspices of the APS, must do so solely and exclusively for the benefit and in the best interests of the APS. In order to assure that this always, and without exception is the case, the following conflict of interest policy has been adopted and implemented by the Board and shall be binding on all officers and directors of the APS and on any individual who becomes an official candidate for such a position.
Definition of Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest is any affiliation or other circumstance of an individual that might cause or motivate that person to act or advocate for an interest other than that of the APS, or that might give the appearance that this might be the case. A perceived conflict of interest is one that a third party might reasonably believe could cause the individual’s action or advocacy to be affected by self-interest in whole or in part.
By way of example but not limitation, full time or principal employment by a pharmaceutical company, medical device manufacturer, or holding more than a minimal ownership interest (i.e., greater than 5%) in any of the same, or holding an officer or director position with another national organization in the field of pain would under the terms and conditions of this policy constitute an actual or perceived conflict of interest that is categorically inconsistent with holding any officer or director position with APS under the terms and conditions of this policy.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure Process
The guiding principle of this APS policy is “total transparency.” Total transparency means complete and detailed disclosure of all financial or other interests that have any potential, however slight, to generate an actual or perceived conflict of interest. In order to insure consistent adherence to this principle, the following procedures shall be followed.
- All officers, directors, and formally recognized candidates for such positions, shall complete the APS Annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure document. In completing this document, any doubts as to whether or not a particular interest, relationship, affiliation, or activity should be listed on the form should be resolved so as to insure full disclosure of all pertinent details of the same.
- Any material change in the circumstances of the individual between the filing of successive disclosure documents shall be promptly noted in complete detail through the submission of an amended disclosure statement.
- At each meeting of the APS Board of Directors there shall be a review of recent disclosures, and those making them shall provide such further details concerning the matters disclosed as the officers and directors may deem necessary or appropriate.
Resolution of Conflict of Interest Situations
- Whenever a conflict of interest arises that is categorically inconsistent with Board membership or holding an officer position in APS, e.g., chief medical officer of a pharmaceutical company, the individual presenting the conflict situation shall have 30 days from the date at which the Board has determined that the conflict exists to remedy the situation by discontinuing involvement in the conflicting interest or resigning from the APS Board or officer position. In the interim, the individual shall abstain from any votes or other official action that relates in any material way to the conflicting interest.
- Whenever a potential conflict of interest not categorically inconsistent with holding an APS Board or officer position arises, e.g., occasional consulting relationship with a commercial enterprise that provides services to pain practitioners, the conflicted individual shall abstain from voting or otherwise participating in or influencing any decision or action potentially affected by the conflict other than providing such information as may be requested by the officers or directors of the APS or their employees, agents, or designees. Official minutes and other documentation of votes, deliberations, and other formal transactions shall fully and accurately note how the conflict situation was resolved in a manner consistent with this policy.