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Tuesday, July 10 • 11:48 - 12:00
Session 3 | Prenatal Counseling: 3-3 Accessibility of conflict of interest disclosures for professional medical societies of relevance to the practice of prenatal diagnosis

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Accessibility of conflict of interest disclosures for professional medical societies of relevance to the practice of prenatal diagnosis
Sara Arian1, Andrea Harbison2, Hadi Erfani3, Alireza Shamshirsaz4, Ignatia Van den Veyver5

1Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, TX, United States
2Baylor College of Medicine , The Woodlands, Texas, Canada
3Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, Texas , Texas, United States
4Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, United States
5Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United States
 Although conflict of interest (COI) can influence professional judgement or decision making by secondary interest, the increasing collaboration of medical professionals with commercial entities accelerates discovery with important individual and public health benefits. Thus, transparent disclosure of financial and other COIs is important to mitigate concerns about their influence on scientific investigations and quality of patient care, and maintain the public’s trust in medicine. This is especially relevant for professional societies that issue opinions and practice guidance. Our objective was to investigate how COIs are communicated on websites of a representative sample of professional societies relevant to prenatal diagnosis. 
We reviewed COI disclosure listings on websites of a representative sample of twelve United States (US)-based professional societies (N=10) and international societies with a significant US-based membership (N=2) with expertise relevant to prenatal diagnosis and engaged in producing statements, opinions and guidelines related to prenatal screening, diagnostic testing and fetal care. We searched the societies’ websites to investigate if a COI disclosure policy is provided, if COIs of board and committee members are stated, easy to find, and how can they be accessed. We also examined if COIs for individuals are disclosed or if only a generalized statement is provided.
For the 12 society websites examined, we found COI statement for 7/12 (58%). For 3 of the 7 (43%), the statement was relatively easy to find on their websites. Table 1 shows more details of our COI evaluation. The COI policy was acknowledged for the members of the executive board of only 2/12 (17%) and for members of practice or publication committees of 4/12 (33%) of the societies. Interestingly, the reported COIs for these 7 societies are declared as a general statement and none disclosed the COI individually for each of their board or practice/publication committee members.
In this descriptive review of conflict of interest policies for professional medical societies, we found that the majority of these societies disclose COIs, but not in detail.  This raises the question whether a uniform international standard or central repository for COI disclosures for professional medical and scientific societies should be considered.  

avatar for Megan Allyse

Megan Allyse

Assistant Professor of Bioethics, Mayo Clinic
avatar for Bettina Blaumeiser

Bettina Blaumeiser

Clinical Geneticist, Antwerp University

avatar for Sara Arian

Sara Arian

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine

Tuesday July 10, 2018 11:48 - 12:00 CEST
Okapi Room 2&3