Patients rely on us to provide the best patient care possible independent from the undue influence of the medical device and pharmaceutical industries (PhRMA). Our patients and the public expect objectivity minimizing both actual and perceived industry conflicts of interest (COI).
The AUA has adopted policies that are in compliance with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS). This COI policy dictates the appropriate industry interactions at all levels of our professional society, this includes research, clinical activity and educational presentations at any venue. In addition, the Journal of Urology® has specific publication policies governing transparency in disclosure, industry conflicts and author participation.
The purpose of this review is to outline areas where the AUA membership is exposed to potential COI and to provide clarification in these areas.
General Membership Industry Interactions
Appropriate and professional physician and industry interactions can and do improve the quality of patient care, research, and education; it is also possible that appropriate interactions can lead to a decrease the cost of health care and can enhance the public trust in science and medicine. Policies to protect the public and establish appropriate and professional interactions continue to evolve. At present, the medical profession is in a period of establishing stricter regulations and enhanced monitoring of both physicians and PhRMA from both within our respective professional organizations, also from within academic institutions and the government. While these regulations vary by state and institution, the direction is one that generally limits interactions that could result in either the actual or perceived improper influence on physician decisions. As a member of the AUA it is important to be aware of these policy changes and seek to manage COI. The degree of public confidence that we are managing COI effectively, that we are decreasing the risk of interactions which could unduly influence patient care will enhance our professional reputation and our patients' trust.
Providing full and fair disclosure to patients and to colleagues is the key to responsible and effective management of actual or perceived conflicts of interest.
AUA Board of Directors, Fall 2010
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