Ethics Policy

OMERACT Guidelines for Relations with the Pharmaceutical Industry

OMERACT takes ethics and conflict of interest issues very seriously, and therefore, has developed specific guidelines to which its Executive Committee members are held.

OMERACT is involved with the development and validation of clinical and imaging outcome measures in rheumatic diseases. The results of these processes are widely based and publicly recorded, and have gained the confidence of professional groups, researchers, the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies around the world. Since much of the funding of OMERACT is derived from the pharmaceutical industry, it is important that the committee’s work be independent of sponsor influence and that any perception of its direction by industry or conflict of interest of its members be avoided. Therefore, the members of OMERACT’s committees hereby agree to the following principles:

  • No OMERACT Executive Committee member shall be a regular employee (>50% time) of any pharmaceutical company or any group with a commercial interest in the OMERACT process.

  • Members of the OMERACT Executive Committee and members of the OMERACT working groups shall not undertake projects on behalf of individual companies or commercial concerns, or enter into any confidential agreements with them under the auspices of OMERACT without full disclosure and approval of the OMERACT Executive Committee.
  • OMERACT Executive Committee members shall declare and have on record any relationship with the pharmaceutical industry or other commercial entity that may be supporting the OMERACT process. These relationships are to be updated biennially. In principle, Executive Committee members should not confine their advisory board, consulting or speaking arrangements to only one company.

  • No OMERACT Executive member or working group member shall advocate a specific drug for the treatment of a rheumatologic disorder, nor support its application to a regulatory agency or drug funding authority under the auspices of OMERACT. Executive Committee and working group members may do so as individuals.

  • When consulting or lecturing, Executive Committee and working group members shall ensure that it be known they are acting as individuals, not on behalf of OMERACT. This applies to members’ relationships to pharmaceutical companies, regulatory agencies or any other group with a vested interest in the OMERACT process. This does not apply when OMERACT is sponsoring a meeting or is invited to present at a meeting.

  • Industry representatives may not sit on the OMERACT Executive Committee, nor should they be seen to have undue influence on the deliberations of any OMERACT committees or working groups.