The ACRE statement address (a) clinical and scientific research; (b) consulting and advisory activities; (c) continuing medical education (CME); (d) product-specific education; (e) publishing; (f) expert witness activities; (g) travel; (h) professional medical societies; and (i) royalty income . The ACRE statement define what constitutes “fair value” for receiving compensation and address areas of greater scrutiny that physicians should be aware of, such as formulary committees and institutional review boards. Finally, the ACRE statement offer recommendations on how physicians should disclose their working relationships, and call for a formal rejection of the term “conflict of interest.”
Critics of the collaborations between physicians and industry have raised concerns, largely theoretical, that have created complicated and counterproductive regulations regarding these relationships. As a direct consequence, many physicians abandoned such collaboration altogether or severely limited such interactions. Further, over the past several years, various organizations and groups have placed severe restrictions or overt bans on physician relationships with industry, which has hindered innovation and translational medicine.
ACRE’s statement recognize that the vast majority of collaborations between physicians and industry have added considerably to improved patient care and have been conducted with integrity and commitment. “This statement contain many provisions encompassed in existing academic, industry, professional society and other institutional examples but achieve a much more reasonable approach to managing such relationships so that physicians can actively participate in innovation and discovery of new treatments, and translational science, to enhance patient care and outcomes,” said J. Michael Gonzalez-Campoy, MD, PhD, FACE, ACRE member, and co-author of the statement. ACRE recognizes that physicians have the experience and opportunity to identify unmet needs in clinical practice, to design innovative solutions, conduct pivotal clinical trials and, through publications and teaching, to bring this new information to their colleagues and to patients. Accordingly, such relationships should be encouraged and recommended, and by following ACRE’s guidelines, physicians, industry and patients can all benefit equally.
ACRE’s statement is available online at http://aace.metapress.com/
The statement is also published in print in the November/December issue of Endocrine Practice. In addition, the ACRE guidelines will be available for download from the Endocrine Practice Website, www.endocrinepractice.org, for wide distribution.
ACRE plans to roll out an educational campaign for academic medical centers, medical schools, and professional medical associations to educate physicians and researchers about the new statement.
ACRE is a professional association of physicians dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in patient care, medical research and education. ACRE members are physicians who recognize that meaningful progress in medical care demands collaboration between clinicians and others with the same commitment to research—basic, translational and clinical—and to education. This collaboration includes industries that invent, develop and manufacture medical products.
For an interview on the statement
Michael Weber, MD Professor of Medicine: michaelwebermd@
Thomas Stossel, MD Division Director: tstossel@