New Guiding Principles Will Protect ONS's Integrity and Reputation
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The ONS Board of Directors approved a new set of guiding principles for corporate support and conflicts of interest (COIs) at a recent meeting. The document is designed to provide a framework for relationships and interactions between ONS and for-profit organizations.
ONS receives funding from a variety of sources, including commercial supporters such as pharmaceutical companies and medical-device manufacturers. This requires careful balance to ensure transparency, a lack of bias, and the highest standards of excellence. In addition, recent reports from the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) have provided recommendations regarding independence from relationships between industry and key professional society leaders and the future funding of continuing professional education. The new guidelines will help ONS maintain actual and perceived independence and are designed to protect ONS’s integrity and reputation.
In addition to overall guiding principles, the new guidelines address COIs by the ONS Board of Directors.
Many ONS members are primarily employed by commercial supporters such as pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Their expertise is key to the success of not only the companies themselves, but, more importantly, the many patients who rely on important treatment and management options.
Nurses who are primarily employed by industry are welcomed to serve on the ONS Board. However, individuals who serve on the Executive Committee cannot be primarily employed by a commercial supporter such as a pharmaceutical company or medical device manufacturer. The Executive Committee comprises the president, president-elect, secretary, and treasurer, as well as the chief executive officer.
Executive Committee members must also avoid acceptance of honoraria or other remunerations directly from related industries, avoid direct participation in external business or educational programs, and postpone professional consulting arrangements and participation on advisory panels with related industries unless they are unrelated to ONS activities, programs, or professional policies.
At this time, the policy applies only to ONS and not to its affiliates’’ boards. For the full guidelines, visit www.ons.org/CorporateSupport.