How does a provider implement a mechanism for resolving conflicts of interest? It all seems very abstract and daunting, and seems to imply that experts with financial relationships must be excluded.

Last Revised: 
November 11, 2011

What follows is an example of how several tactics can be tied together by the Provider into a mechanism to resolve conflicts of interest that could demonstrate the Provider's compliance with the ACCME requirements, and preserve participation of experts with financial relationships.

  1. Determine through disclosure mechanisms if those involved in planning or presenting content within a CME activity have financial relationships related to that content.
  2. If planners, presenters, or authors have financial relationships that create a conflict of interest:
    1. The conflict can be resolved by an effective peer review of content prior to presentation or publication to ensure the content is valid and aligned with the interest of the public. Various methods of peer review to validate content can be effective mechanisms for resolving conflict of interest. One way to resolve the conflict of interest is to have scientific abstracts or free-standing papers or articles, peer reviewed or judged by commercially disinterested peers before they are accepted for presentation or publication.
    2. In addition, requiring that all financial relationships be disclosed prior to an activity will alert participants (audience, readers) of the potential for conflict of interest and commercial bias. Participants could be asked to evaluate the objectivity of the presentation or publication, and to identify any perceived commercial bias.
    3. Also, presenters, authors, planners and reviewers could be instructed to reference the best available evidence.
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