ASCO Adopts New CMSS Code for Interactions With Private Sector

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 21, 2010

CONTACT: Kelly Powell
571-483-1365
[email protected]

Erin Kiernon
212-584-5003
[email protected]

The American Society of Clinical Oncology today announced that it has formally adopted the CMSS Code for Interactions with Companies released today by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. The voluntary code provides guidance to professional medical specialty societies on appropriate interactions with for-profit companies in the health care sector. The code is designed to ensure that societies' interactions with companies are independent and transparent, and advance medical care for the benefit of patients.

CMSS is a coalition of 32 professional medical societies representing over 650,000 physicians. ASCO's CEO, Allen S. Lichter, MD, chaired the CMSS Task Force on Professionalism and Conflict of Interest that developed the code over the past year. ASCO represents more than 26,000 cancer physicians.

"For many years, ASCO has been a leader in establishing and enforcing rigorous conflict of interest policies for those who participate in our programs. We take very seriously the trust that is placed in us by physicians and patients to be authoritative, independent voices in cancer care," said Dr. Lichter. "We are proud to be one of the first signers of this code, and urge our fellow medical societies to do the same."

By adopting the CMSS code, medical societies agree to establish and publish conflict of interest policies, policies and procedures to ensure separation of program development from sponsor influence, disclose corporate contributions, disclose Board members' financial relationships with companies, and prohibit financial relationships for key association leaders, among many other provisions.

For a summary of ASCO's policies, see: www.asco.org/conflictofinterest.

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