The policy was last updated and approved by the ESMO Executive Board on 3 December 2020. It was developed and will be supervised by the ESMO Compliance Committee.
Objectives of the Policy
- ESMO strives to attain the highest standards of integrity by adopting best practices that enhance its governance and ensure public confidence in its activities. One way in which we meet this objective is through an awareness of potential conflicts of interest.
- ESMO seeks to work closely with leaders in the field of medical oncology, many of whom are members of the Society. It is both understood and expected that these individuals will often have entirely legitimate external interests arising from their work and expertise. However, it is possible that a conflict, or the appearance of a conflict, could arise between these interests and those of the Society. Consequently, it is appropriate to undertake a transparent review of the interests of individuals in specific roles and interacting with ESMO in certain ways.
ESMO’s approach to reviewing and managing interests
ESMO takes a proportionate, responsibility-based, approach to managing interests. This approach is principally based on the nature of the relationship between the Society and the individual concerned:
- Individuals acting for ESMO or speaking on its behalf (Section One of the DOI Policy)
Perceived bias in decision-making or communication may reflect directly upon ESMO’s reputation and represents a higher level of responsibility. The Society therefore requests a substantial degree of disclosure in order to make an informed decision about the involvement of each individual in its activities and some of these declarations will be subject to review. Roles falling within the scope of Section One are listed in Appendix A, Higher Responsibility Roles and the DOIs for some of these Roles may require review.
- Individuals using ESMO platforms to share their own research or express their own opinions (Section Two of the DOI policy)
ESMO is not responsible for material shared using its platforms (such as in congress presentations or journal articles) when external parties present their own research or opinions. Such external parties remain fully responsible for what they publish. However, as a matter of good practice, ESMO mandates that interests are disclosed so that the audience is fully informed. Individuals within the scope of Section Two are identified in Appendix A, Intermediate Responsibility Roles.
- This Declaration of Interest Policy was developed by the Compliance Committee and has been approved by the Executive Board. Its implementation is the responsibility of the Compliance Committee. However, it is the responsibility of the individual supplying the disclosure of Interest to ensure that the information is true, up to date and complete.
- The persons covered by the Policy are asked to carefully read the Policy, complete their Declaration on the new DOI Platform and in the case of High Responsibility roles, update it at least once a year. The interests to be declared are specified in the Policy. If you are not sure what to declare, please contact the Chair of the Compliance Committee for confidential guidance.
- All Disclosures will be stored in ESMO’s new Declaration of Interests platform and maintained for the period of the declarant’s ESMO Officership and not more than 5 years beyond.
- Non-compliance with this Policy or false declaration will be pursued and may jeopardise an individual’s participation in ESMO activities and lead to sanctions such as termination of eligibility to participate in some or all ESMO activities or termination of ESMO membership.
- The ESMO Journals have a separate Declaration of Interests procedure which are detailed in the Guide for Authors for each journal.