Conflict of Interest Guidelines

*As presented at the FMWC Annual General Meeting (Halifax, September 2012)


To define conflict of interest/competing interest as it applies to the overall function/workings of the FMWC. These guidelines apply to funding provided for all FMWC CME events and funding provided for FMWC awards as determined by the Board.

  • To manage relationship with industry and to be consistent with the accreditation rules of the Royal College ofPh ysicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).
  • To create a clear policy for the National and Branch Offices which can apply to all functions including CME, awards, FMWC events, communications from the FMWC and when members are representing the FMWC in other roles and organizations.

Definition Competing Interests:

A set of circumstances in which the primary interest is unduly influenced by secondary interest(s) therefore interfering with the best outcome for the FMWC. These competing interests can be financial or non financial, professional or personal in nature.

Definition of Industry:

Includes pharmaceutical, medical device, medical services providers and biotechnology organizations as well as both profit and non-profit organizations, including the government.

Principles to Follow:

Follow the accreditation guidelines and rules of the organizations providing credits for educational events. Examples include the College of Family Physicians of Canada, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and Academic institutions such as University Medical Schools.

  • Follow the Canadian Medical Association Guidelines for Interactions with Industry 2007.
  • Any planning committee for the CME events (National or Branch)subject to these guidelines.
  • Speakers and topics are chosen by the CME committee without any influence from industry.
  • Content of educational presentations and handouts is not biased by industry and does not promote individual products.
  • Speakers are compensated by the FMWC from the CME committee pooled funds.This includes honorarium, travel and accommodation costs.
  • Speakers are to disclose competing interests including any personal or family ties to industry relating to their presentation.
  • Industry to comply with the Rx& D Code of Ethics and provides funding through grants that are unrestricted.
  • Awards are to follow the CMA Guidelines, the Rx& D Code of Ethics and the FMWC Conflict of Interest/Competing Interest Guidelines.
  • Management of Conflict of Interest/Competing Interest for national CME events is to be undertaken by the CME committee following guidelines set by the FMWC as well as the RCPSC and CFPC.
  • Branch/local CME events should choose to follow Federation guidelines.
  • Board Conflict of Interest document is already in place for signature and declaration at yearly meeting for individual conflict of interest.
  • Learner participation in FMWC CME events and functions as per national guidelines for medical students and residents.
  • The management of competing interests is a complex and changing area which may require a specific committee or executive function of the Federation.

Documents Reviewed:

  1. CMA Guidelines: Guidelines for Physicians in Interactions with Industry 2007
  2. Defining the relationship: an evidence based review and recommendations on the role of industry funding in medical schools. Sept 2011.
  3. Canadian Cardiovascular Society: Conflict of Influence Guidelines
  4. Defining the relationship: An evidence based review and recommendations on the role of industry funding in medical schools. Industry Funding Working Group. Presented at the CFMS AGM, Calgary, Sept. 2011
  5. WHO Conflict of Interest Policy for WHO Experts
  6. Professional Medical Organizations and Commercial Conflicts of Interest: Ethical Issues Howard Brody MD. PhD, Annals of Family Medicine, July 1, 2010, Vol.8 no.4 354-358 available on line
  7. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
  8. SOGC Conflict of Interest Policy Statement No. 228 July 2009 Journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology Can 2009 31(7):664
  9. Ethical Review and Guidelines: The College of Family Physicians of Canada
  10. Rx & D Code of Ethical Practices 2012