MedStar makes patient welfare our first priority and strives to assure that all relationships with industry meet the highest standards of professional ethics and that MedStar is appropriately transparent about any actual or perceived conflicts.
It is the policy of MedStar Health and its affiliated entities that interactions with industry should be conducted in a fashion that avoids or minimizes actual or perceived conflicts of interests and/or conflicts of commitments (time and attention). Most interests and interactions with industry are positive and can expand knowledge, drive innovation, improve quality of care and are important for promoting the educational, clinical and research missions of MedStar Health. MedStar encourages appropriate and ethical interactions with industry in order to maximize the benefits of biomedical research, medical education and ensure continued advancements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. MedStar must also ensure that all relationships with industry are consistent with MedStar’s vision of being the trusted leader in caring for people and advancing health, and never undermine the trust of our patients and the public. Potential conflicts are identified and avoided if possible, and if actual or perceived conflicts do arise, they are addressed appropriately.
MedStar’s Conflict of Interests policy applies to all officers and directors, full and part-time employees, employed physicians and independent contractors, faculty and teaching staff, residents, fellows, students, and any individual with material decision making responsibilities. Individuals are required to obtain approval prior to engaging in such interactions with industry. MedStar also has a Conflict of Interests policy specific to MedStar Health Research Institute and those individuals involved in research. Annually, MedStar conducts a mandatory conflict of interests and interactions disclosure process for all members of its Boards of Directors, all managers, all employed and contract physicians, and anyone with a significant involvement in teaching or purchasing activities. The individuals are required to disclose all outside activities and interests to the Office of Corporate Business Integrity. All disclosures are reviewed, and any conflicts or potential conflicts are appropriately managed or eliminated. Below is a summary of permissible and non-permissible interactions with industry.
- Personal Gifts. Prohibited, with limited exception for nominal value items for the benefit of patient care or medical education.
- Meals, Invitations, and Entertainment. Prohibited. Industry may make general donations to central graduate or continuing education offices, with restrictions.
- Attendance at Industry-Sponsored (and Third-Party Industry Sponsored) Conferences, Education Sales, or Promotional Events. Limited to reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses. Reasonable honoraria received from educational institutions (universities, teaching hospitals, non-profit institutions, and professional societies) is permitted.
- Industry-Sponsored Scholarships and Other Education Support for Trainees. Permitted under certain controlled conditions to support healthcare professionals in training.
- Speaking, Consulting Arrangements, and Advisory Services with Industry. Permitted under certain conditions when prior approval is obtained and engagement does not pose an unacceptable conflict of commitment, or interests.
- Fiduciary, Management, or Other Financial Interests with Industry. Permitted only under certain carefully supervised circumstances.
- Detailing, Tying, Switching, or Ordering. Prohibited.
- Conflicts of Commitment. Prohibited.
- Site or Facility Access by Industry Representatives. Permitted only when representative fully abides by vendor access policies and guidelines, and product meets all guidelines of MedStar Health or other applicable government regulations.
- Publications/Ghost-Writing/Ghost-Authoring. Prohibited.
- Free Drug/Product Samples. Permitted in certain locations and only when product samples are for benefit of patients, and other specific criteria are met.