Operating Principles and Guidelines

Transparency Portal Sections

Mission Statement
Amended and approved by Membership, December 2014

The Mission of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is to promote the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research, and to meet the professional needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists throughout their careers.

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Code of Ethics
Adopted by Council, September 2014

AACAP was among the first medical associations to create written code of ethics. The AACAP Code of Ethics was created in 1980 to ensure the highest level of services to children, adolescents, and their families. This set of principles guides child and adolescent psychiatrists in the changing landscape of the doctor-patient relationship in the modern practice of child and adolescent psychiatry.

All AACAP members must pledge to adhere to the AACAP Code of Ethics as a condition of membership.

Excerpts from AACAP's Code of Ethics on Transparency

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Principles of Practice
Adapted from CODE OF ETHICS, May 16, 1982

AACAP's Principles of Practice was adapted from its Code of Ethics. The Principles of Practice states that child and adolescent psychiatrists must avoid all actions which may have a detrimental effect on the optimal development of a child or adolescent. Additionally, child and adolescent psychiatrists must maintain the integrity of professional judgment independent of influence. Child and adolescent psychiatrists agree to adhere to these principles as a condition of AACAP membership.

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Revised December 2015

AACAP's Bylaws, the regulations that govern the organization, are available on the AACAP website. AACAP members must adhere to AACAP Bylaws as a condition of membership.

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Leadership Disclosures
To best serve child and adolescent psychiatry, and the interests of practitioners and families, AACAP requires its leadership, including its president, president-elect, program committee chair, and JAACAP editor-in-chief refrain from participation in speakers' bureaus and advisory boards associated with pharmaceutical companies.

The JAACAP editor-in-chief must be free of pharmaceutical industry ties during his or her tenure.

Disclosure of Affiliations for the Executive Committee, Program Committee Chair and JAACAP Editor

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Committee Disclosure of Affiliations Form
Updated 2008

Before serving on Council, committees, or participating in committee meetings, AACAP members must disclose any potential conflict of interest by filling out this form. Disclosure is necessary when outside affiliations result in conflicts which may impact on an individual’s opinion. In the event of a conflict, committee leadership will decide if the issue merits the committee member’s removal from the discussion or committee. Members of the Committee on Quality Issues are required to be free from pharmaceutical industry involvement throughout the course of guideline development, whether salary or research funding, additional income, or in-kind services. AACAP's Secretary also reviews Disclosures of Affiliation and, when appropriate, reports any concerns to the President. The AACAP has used variations of this form since 2000 to engender openness and transparency.

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Guidelines on Conflict of Interest for Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
Last Reviewed and Approved by Council on January 30, 2009

A physician’s first obligation is his or her patients. AACAP wrote its Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest for Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists to support patients by helping child and adolescent psychiatrists assess conflicts of interest. AACAP notes the 4 A's of conflicts of interest management: awareness, assessment, acknowledgment, and action.

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Guidelines on Conflict of Interest for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Researchers
Approved by Council on January 30, 2009

Research is funded by a range of entities. AACAP encourages the interaction of child and adolescent psychiatry investigators and sponsors, including government, and private and commercial organizations that serves the best interests of children and adolescents while maintaining scientific integrity. Child and adolescent psychiatrists who engage in research must disclose all relevant benefits, especially material financial interests.

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Operating Principles for Extramural Support of AACAP Meetings and Related Activities
Adopted in 2003, updated annually

To facilitate transparency and disclosure, the AACAP has approved the Operating Principles for Extramural Support of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Meetings and Related Activities. These principles provide the framework through which members of AACAP, and AACAP meeting attendees and supporters can foster high quality scientific and educational programming in the context of full financial disclosure.

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AACAP Audit Reports

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Physician Payment Sunshine Act

Beginning in 2007, Congress began to look into concerns over financial relationships between physicians and device and pharmaceutical companies. Senator Grassley (R- IA) introduced the Physician Payment Sunshine Act to require reporting of all payments to physicians or their employers from pharmaceutical or medical device companies. AACAP supported the legislation, stating that the bill will “reinforce the public’s trust in the medical profession and promote transparency to allow patients, researchers, physicians, and others to obtain accurate and complete information on the nature of interactions between industry and physicians.”

Due to the increasing congressional concerns about transparency, and concerns over waste and fraud in the healthcare system, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act was included in the Affordable Care Act. In February 2012, AACAP provided comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), on their interim regulatory rule, concerned that if implemented without modifications, it could result in the publication of misleading information and impose costly and burdensome paperwork requirements on physicians.

CMS announced a final rule in February 2013 that will increase public awareness of financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers and certain health care providers. The rule finalizes provisions that require manufacturers of drugs, devices, biological, and medical supplies to report to CMS payments or other transfers of value of $10 or more to physicians and teaching hospitals. Payments mean food, entertainment, gifts, consulting fees, honoraria, and other items or services of value. CMS will post that data on a public website. The increased transparency is intended to help reduce the potential for conflicts of interest that physicians or teaching hospitals could face as a result of their relationship with manufacturers.

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AACAP's Management of Relationships with the Pharmaceutical Industry

Martin J. Drell, M.D., President of AACAP, appointed a task force (TF) to examine the Academy's relationship with pharmaceutical interests, including the biomedical industry. The task force is charged with examining current AACAP conflict of interest policies, revenues, and allocation of relevant expenses; obtaining input from leaders and members; objectively studying and analyzing the information gathered; and making recommendations to AACAP leadership as to how the organization might move forward.

Click here for more information.

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Council Approved Decisions Regarding AACAP's Relationship with the Biomedical Industry 
(October 2019)

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