AACI COI Task Force Invites Comments

In the July AACI Commentary, Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, and Leonidas C. Platanias, MD, PhD, shared the recommendations of AACI’s Conflict of Interest (COI) Task Force, which convened in response to mounting concerns about the complex relationships between academic medicine, private industry, and foreign entities.

Given that academia has a major stake in drug development, some conflicts of interest are inevitable. Therefore, AACI believes that "disclose and manage" should be a guiding principle in conflict of interest oversight. The COI Task Force reviewed polices at AACI cancer centers and established basic guidelines to ensure that all conflicts are fully disclosed, maintaining patients’ trust and allowing groundbreaking research to flourish at academic cancer centers.

To avoid a potential conflict, the task force recommends that cancer center leadership, such as the cancer center director, review and approve all disclosures for faculty and staff under their purview.

The task force further recommends that cancer center leadership, faculty, and staff disclose all COI, including public speaking engagements, webinars, and other educational activities, even if the educational event is not an accredited continuing medical education course.

In addition, the task force calls for disclosure of all dollar amounts related to such activities when applicable and regardless of an artificial money limit.

Other key recommendations include disclosing all affiliations with foreign institutions and laboratories, financial or otherwise, and extending disclosures to at least immediate family members, including spouses, children, parents, and siblings.

AACI welcomes feedback on these recommendations. Comments will be incorporated into a formal presentation of the task force’s recommendations and panel discussion on Monday, October 21, during the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Please share your comments with Kate Shaw, program manager, at 412-605-1477.