Declaration of Interest Policy

The policy was approved by the Executive Board at meeting on 24 September 2011 and came into effect on 1 January 2012. It was developed and will be supervised by the ESMO Audit Committee.

Objectives of the Policy   

  • The policy establishes standards/principles of conduct for minimizing and managing potential conflict of interest for the ESMO officers involved in scientific activities, development of scientific and medical content including Congress and educational events and products, publications, guidelines, etc.
  • Board, Faculty, Working Groups, Committees and Task Forces are high level discussions fora to deliberate and create consensus on key medical issues within the oncology field. It is fundamental for ESMO to be and to be perceived as an independent, impartial association with a clear and unambiguous policy on declaration of Interests.
  • There is also a general duty for all members of the ESMO leadership and senior staff to disclose at the earliest possible stage and at regular intervals any financial or other interest they may have in any relationship as determined by this policy between ESMO and an external body. Conflicts of interest may arise when an ESMO officer's personal, business, occupational or professional interests conflict with those of ESMO. The objective of the policy is to ensure European best practice by ensuring that individuals covered by this policy make decisions free from bias and to document such situations.
  • Nothing specific under Swiss law in relation with the Declaration of Interest, apart from Data Protection (i.e. Swiss Federal act on Data Protection - FADP), and apart from general duties of care for Board Members of Associations. The ESMO's statute states that the Officers of the Society are expected to act on a voluntary basis for each committee on which they serve.

ESMO’s officers included in the policy

  • All Executive Board members of ESMO
  • All chairs and vice chairs of Working Groups – Committees – Task Forces
  • All Faculty Coordinators (i.e. sub-section Chairs)
  • All Guidelines and Annals of Oncology Editors
  • ESMO CEO

Procedure of declaration

  • ESMO officers, as defined under the item 2, are required to disclose the nature and extent of any existing or potential conflict of interest, real or apparent, when they undertake an ESMO function.
  • The persons covered by the policy are asked to carefully read the policy, complete sign the form once a year in January. If you are not sure what to declare, please contact the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the Financial Manager for confidential guidance. Forms duly filled out and signed have to be sent back to ESMO Head Office to the Finance and Administration Department which is responsible for the management of the Declaration of Interest Register.
  • All such records will be maintained for the period in which such officership is held and 2 years beyond. The Register of Interests will be made public to members of ESMO on the ESMO website under a special members section, it may also be reviewed by the members of the Audit Committee. Any changes to circumstances or new interest should be notified as appropriate.

Annual declaration of interest

  • In general individuals are required to identify their place of work and academic position, their involvement in Research (i.e. Basic, TR, CR) funded in whole or in part by the healthcare  Industry and their attendance as private invitees to Satellite Symposia, events organized by Industries or Advisory Board.
  • Conflict of interest may arise from:
    • Pecuniary interests with companies having activities, interests within the scope of activities of ESMO (pharmaceutical, healthcare, etc.). This includes:
      • Participation in the capital (> 10%)
      • Consulting, advisory or teaching activities (directly or through an association or foundation)
      • Grants
    • Pecuniary or pecuniary interest including membership of external committees, research councils, government bodies, professional departments acting within the field of oncology
    • Personal or family interests in companies who are suppliers or customer of ESMO
    • Participation on the Board of this company and /or shareholder of the company having commercial relationship or partnership with ESMO

For individuals, potential conflicts of interests highlighted by the declaration will be resolved through the individuals concerned not participating to the relevant discussion and any other remedies proposed by the Audit Committee.

Declaration of Interest for scientific, publishing, Annals of Oncology, guidelines and congress related content

There are separate procedures defined by the Committee responsible for the activities concerned to declare any interests of the individuals on content/developments involved.
A register will be maintained in each department by such declaration.
Such registers will be reviewed annually by the Audit Committee and a report on compliance will be made to the Executive Board of ESMO.