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Conflicts of Interest and Transparency Initiatives

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December 11, 2018- AAMC President and CEO, Dr. Darrell Kirch discusses conflicts of interest and the integrity of research in the column, "The integrity of our research depends on the full disclosure of industry relationships."

As stated in the article, "For science to move forward, academic medicine and industry need to work together. With the guidance of the AAMC Forum on Conflict of Interest in Academe Steering Committee, the AAMC will continue to be fully engaged in helping researchers address this challenge. We are working with member institutions, other associations and societies, journals, and the continuing education community on additional tools and resources that will help our institutions fulfill their reporting obligations."

September 20, 2018 - Recent media coverage of the failure of a physician to disclose relevant industry relationships in his articles in peer reviewed journals has reminded the academic medicine community of our shared obligation to facilitate the disclosure of timely, accurate, and complete information about academic medicine’s relationships with industry and preserve the public’s trust in the research enterprise.  The AAMC is continuing to work with member institutions, other associations and societies, journals, and the continuing education community to develop tools and resources to help institutions and individuals manage the disclosure of conflicts of interest. 

Institutions looking for immediate steps to take could:

  • Remind faculty of the importance of full disclosure, not only to your institution, but in other writing, speaking and teaching situations, as well as grant applications.

  • Use relevant current events as an opportunity to recommit to the institution’s obligation to facilitate transparency about the ways in which faculty and industry may be collaborating, and the processes that are in place to review and manage those relationships.

  • Encourage faculty to review the information posted about them publicly on the Open Payments website, and to ensure its accuracy as well as consistency with complete disclosures in all aspects of their professional responsibilities.
  • Learn more about Convey, the disclosure system developed by the AAMC to streamline and standardize the disclosure of financial interests to institutions, journals, and other organizations at or by emailing

For questions, contact Heather Pierce, JD, MPH, Senior Director, Science Policy and Regulatory Counsel at or (202) 478-9926. 

COI Articles


Convey is a global disclosure system built to standardize the reporting of financial interests and relationships with external entities. It provides a web-based repository for individuals, who can enter and securely maintain records of financial interests to disclose directly to any organization that uses the system. For organizations that collect disclosure information, Convey features a streamlined disclosure process tailored to each organization. Convey: Global Disclosure System

For Full Disclosure in Medicine ( New York Times, Sep. 30, 2018) - Opinion Letter by Jeffrey Drazen, Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, describes NEJM's role in the central repository and encourages "all involved in medical care, research or education to adopt Convey."

Department of Health and Human Services' Rule on Financial Conflicts of Interest in Federally-Funded Research

On August 23, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule revising the regulations entitled "Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which Public Health Service Funding is Sought and Responsible Prospective Contractors."

AAMC Conflicts of Interest Metrics Project

AAMC worked with member medical schools and teaching hospitals to measure the effect and effectiveness of the HHS final rule on financial conflicts of interest in federally-funded research using aggregate data about participating institutions' conflict of interest review systems, disclosures made by investigators to the institution, and financial conflicts of interest identified and reported to federal funding agencies. 

Sunshine Regulations

On February 8, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule, "Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Investment Interests" (78 FR 9458) which implements section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act. On September 30, 2014, CMS published a publicly available website which contains information about the financial relationships between physicians, teaching hospitals, applicable manufacturers and GPOs. Manufacturers are required to annually report to CMS certain payments or transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals. For more information about the Sunshine Act and the Open Payments system, click here.