AAMC & AAU Guidelines
on Conflicts of Interest

AAMC, AAU Issue New Guidelines On Managing Conflicts Of Interest

March 12, 2008
by Michael Johns, Project Manager
Washington, D.C., February 28, 2008-A new report, issued today by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) and the Association of American Universities (AAU), calls on all medical schools and major research universities to develop and implement institutional financial conflicts of interest (COI) policies within the next two years, and to refine standards for addressing individual financial COI.

"Protecting Patients, Preserving Integrity, Advancing Health: Accelerating the Implementation of COI Policies in Human Subjects Research," provides a detailed roadmap for academic institutions to identify, evaluate, and manage financial conflicts of interest in research that involves human research subjects.

The report is the product of two years' work by an AAMC/AAU joint advisory committee, created in 2006, to refine and amplify both associations' previously issued COI policy recommendations, and provide medical schools and major research universities with precise guidance on how to handle conflict of interest cases that arise in human subjects research. The 21-member committee, made up of senior officials from the nation's medical schools and major research universities, was co-chaired by Robert R. Rich, M.D., senior vice president for medicine and dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, and Mark S. Wrighton, Ph.D., chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis.

The panel's key recommendations are intended to accelerate implementation by medical schools, teaching hospitals, and major research universities of effective policies that address both individual and institutional financial conflicts of interest and make the policies more consistent, while allowing for each institution's culture and history.

"The effective management of financial conflicts of interest is essential to protect patients and preserve research integrity," said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. "To achieve the promise of biomedical research, there must be ongoing collaboration among research universities, medical schools, teaching hospitals, and industry. This report provides excellent practical advice on how institutions can enhance their oversight and management of these vital relationships and sustain the trust the public places in us."

To learn more about this important topic, go to the Association of American Medical Colleges website: http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/pressrel/2008/080228.htm

This information is reposted with thanks to the AAMC and AAU.