SMA Disclosure Policy and Conflict of Interest Resolution

SMA Disclosure Policy and Conflict of Interest Resolution

In accordance with the ACCMEâ„¢ Standards for Commercial Support, it is SMA's policy that all  individuals involved with the planning and implementation of the content of  an SMA CME/CE activity  are required to disclose to the audience (1) any relevant financial relationships with a commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing healthcare goods or services consumed by or used on patients, and (2) unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices discussed in their presentation. Conflicts of Interest will be resolved prior to the activity.


Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interests (e.g. stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit.   Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research where research funding is received and managed by an institution and the person is the principal or named investigator on the grant), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received or expected.   ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

Conflict of Interest:   The ACCME considers financial relationships to create actual conflicts of interest in CME when individuals have both a financial relationship with a commercial interest and the opportunity to affect the content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest.   The ACCME   considers "content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest" to include content about specific agents/devices, but not necessarily about the class of agents/devices, and not necessarily content about the whole disease class in which those agents/devices are used.   With respect to financial relationships with commercial interests, when a person divests themselves of a relationship it is immediately not relevant to conflicts of interest but it must be disclosed to the learners for 12 months.

These definitions supplement the 2004 updated ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure the Independence of CME Activities.   For more information, visit

Southern Medical Association

Disclosure of Financial Relationship(s) and

Resolution of Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy

In accordance with The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support (September 2004) and Policies, SMA requires that all individuals who are in a position to control the content of an SMA CME Activity disclose their financial relationships with commercial interests occurring over the past twelve months.   Any individual who does not comply with this policy will not be permitted to participate in the process.   Any presenter who does not comply with this policy will NOT be permitted to participate in SMA's CME Activity.

The following disclosure and COI resolution procedures will be followed:

1)         Live CME, Internet CME or Enduring Materials Faculty:   All faculty must complete and return to SMA a Financial Relationship Disclosure Form.   The disclosure information along with the provided content (slides, abstracts, etc.) will be reviewed internally and by the activity chairperson.   If during this process there is a COI identified, the chairperson may offer direction to correct the conflict.   The materials may also be sent for peer-review to The SMA Quality Committee.  Presenters must abide by the decisions of the chairperson and/or committee.

2)         Journal CME review for COI will be handled through a peer-review process.   The assigned reviewer will receive a copy of the author's disclosure form and examine the article for conflict of interest at the time of review for CME approval.   If COI is identified, the reviewer will recommend changes to correct the content or may recommend rejection of the article.   Issues not resolved at this point will be referred to the SMJ CME Advisory Board. This process will be implemented through the Editor's office.

3)         SMA leadership, CME committees, Journal editor, activity chairs, etc. Financial disclosures will be collected on an annual basis.   COI will be reviewed in the context of their role and current duties to determine the extent of his/her responsibility, and determine if that person's responsibilities need to be altered or reassigned in order to resolve a COI.

4)         SMA Staff COI will be reviewed in the context of each staff's role, and by using his/her current job description to determine the extent of his/her responsibilities, and determine if that person's responsibilities need to be altered or reassigned to resolve a COI.

Disclosure to Learners:

  • SMA ensures that all attendees/participants of SMA CME activities are informed of faculty's financial relationships (or of "no" relationship) prior to the beginning of an activity either in writing, verbally or by multimedia display.
  • Participants are provided a forum through the activity's evaluation instrument to express concerns related to perceived bias and/or use of promotional content they may observe during an activity.   Concerns will be investigated by SMA staff and if needed reviewed by committee with decisions regarding future faculty involvement.