Prepared by Steven Z. Glickel, MD
To ensure ethical decision making and avoid conflicts of interest, or the appearance thereof, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) has adopted the following Policy on corporate support:
1. ASSH will accept corporate support only for activities that are consistent with ASSH’s purposes.
2. ASSH will not accept corporate support in a form or manner that could be interpreted as ASSH’s endorsement of a corporate supporter, its products, or services, and will take steps to avoid such appearances.
3. ASSH shall at all times make decisions with respect to its policies, programs and publications independent of corporate support and shall avoid actions which would give the appearance that corporate support had any influence on, or was a factor in making, such decisions.
4. ASSH will conduct its educational programs in a manner consistent with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education and in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local rules and regulations.
5. ASSH will accept funds for educational programs and publications, provided that:
(i) ASSH will have responsibility for the criteria, objectives, content, quality, and scientific integrity of such programs and publications.
(ii) ASSH will avoid the appearance that corporate supporters have authority to make decisions regarding program or publication content, program development, speaker/author selection, or the like.
(iii) All decisions with respect to programs and publications will be made by ASSH staff, members, or agents who have no conflict of interest with the funding source.
6. ASSH will not accept funds for, nor will it sponsor or co-sponsor, any programs or publications that are tied to the products or services of a corporate supporter unless such program or publication clearly disclose such corporate support.
7. ASSH may acknowledge corporate support, provided any such acknowledgement only is made in a manner that minimizes the likelihood that the income from corporate support will be considered taxable by the Internal Revenue Service as unrelated business income.
8. ASSH may allow its name, logo, and/or membership mailing list (collectively, the “ASSH Marks”) to be used in connection with corporate support only if:
(i) The ASSH Marks are used for the purpose of promoting or advancing ASSH’s purpose and mission, as determined by ASSH in its sole discretion.
(ii) The use of the ASSH Marks is provided on a non-exclusive basis.
(iii) The use of the ASSH Marks does not constitute an endorsement of any particular product, service or corporation.
(iv) The ASSH Marks do not appear alongside the name, trademark, service mark, or logo of any association or corporation other than that of the corporate supporter without ASSH’s prior written approval.
(v) All proposed uses of the ASSH Marks are subject to the prior review and written approval of ASSH.
(vi) The provision of goods and/or services under the ASSH Marks do not reflect adversely upon the ASSH or the ASSH Marks.
(vii) ASSH shall retain the right to terminate any use of the ASSH Marks at any time and for any reason, upon reasonable prior written notice.
(viii) ASSH shall, if possible, seek a royalty or other form of revenue stream as consideration for the use of the ASSH Marks. Such revenue stream shall, when possible, be constructed to avoid the generation of unrelated business income tax.
9. The receipt and use of corporate support, including, without limitation, a corporate supporter’s use of the ASSH Marks, will be subject to a written agreement in a form acceptable to ASSH in its sole discretion.
10. For purposes of this policy, “corporate support” does not include paid advertising by corporate supporters for ASSH programs or publications or payment for goods or services provided to the corporate supporter by ASSH (e.g., exhibitor fees; annual meeting registration fees).
Approved by the ASSH Council in September, 2007.