AACAP's Operating Principles for Extramural Support of AACAP Meetings and Related Activities
Bennett L. Leventhal, M.D.
AACAP has long been a leader in managing disclosures and potential conflicts of interest that can and do interfere with objective conduct of science and clinical practice. By affirmatively developing and using guidelines to govern extramural support for AACAP meetings and the presentations of meeting participants, we are giving meeting attendees the information necessary to make decisions about the nature of scientific and clinical material available at the AACAP meetings. For more than seven years, AACAP has managed its meetings under the Operating Principles for Extramural Support. The Principles represent a dynamic process designed to serve our patients and profession, and maintain our scientific and clinical integrity. As a result, your awareness and participation are essential to their success. We hope you will take pride in our Principles and your participation in the process.
It has long been important to AACAP and the Program Committee, as we develop and present our meetings, to keep content and presentations independent from sources of funding or other support. These operating principles provide the framework through which members of AACAP, AACAP meeting attendees, and AACAP meeting supporters can preserve the form and substance of AACAP's high quality scientific and educational programming in the context of full financial disclosure. As part of the submission process and registration for the meeting, each presenter and other attendees must agree to read and abide by these principles.
AACAP membership can assist us in our collective to assure honesty and integrity in our meetings as well as related scientific and clinical activities by becoming familiar with the Operating Principles and monitoring adherence to them. For your reference, the full document is available online here.
While the Operating Principles is an extensive document that covers many details related to the Annual Meeting, some of the most critical points are:
- Commercial enterprises (including pharmaceutical companies) and other entities related to the AACAP Annual Meeting, agree to not have independent presentations during the week of the Annual Meeting at the host hotel or elsewhere in the meeting city.
- No corporate logos may be displayed outside the Exhibit Hall.
- No press conferences or briefings may be held prior to presentations at AACAP meetings nor can sponsors represent AACAP meeting content without specific written permission from AACAP.
- Companies may not contact attendees before the meeting to promote attendance at sponsored events.
How You Can Help As an Attendee
- If you know about an event held by a pharmaceutical company during the week of the Annual Meeting that is not listed in the Program Book, please contact Jill Zeigenfus Brafford, Director of Meetings and Continuing Medical Education, at 202-966-7719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Let AACAP know if the following disclosure policies are not being adhered to. Contact the session Monitor and note these on your evaluation forms:
- All individuals presenting at AACAP meetings (including presenters, officers, discussants, etc.) must disclose any real or perceived conflicts of interest. This obligation is for all individuals who make public comment at any AACAP meeting.
- When an off-label, investigational or experimental use of a medication or other product is the subject of a presentation or discussion, disclosure of this status should be clear to the audience, both verbally and in writing.
Each potential violation of the Operating Principles has been and will be carefully investigated. And, disciplinary actions, including banning from participation in the Annual Meeting has occurred. The Operating Principles are only as good as the level to which we adhere to them.
In this time of our own careful attention to transparency, disclosure, and integrity, you should be proud to have been at the vanguard of setting and maintaining principles and guidelines for behavior. We hope that you will continue to support our collective effort. Thank you for taking this matter seriously. It is your attention to these details that make us stronger and leaders in the ethical practice of medicine.