AACAP's Management of Relationships with the Pharmaceutical Industry

Dear AACAP Member,

Martin J. Drell, M.D., President of AACAP, appointed a task force (TF) to examine the Academy's relationship with pharmaceutical interests, including the biomedical industry. The task force is charged with examining current AACAP conflict of interest policies, revenues, and allocation of relevant expenses; obtaining input from leaders and members; objectively studying and analyzing the information gathered; and making recommendations to AACAP leadership as to how the organization might move forward.

Under the direction of Marilyn Benoit, M.D. (chair), the task force includes William Bernet, M.D., John Dunne, M.D., Mary Margaret Gleason, M.D., Debra Koss, M.D., Sheryl Kataoka, M.D., Douglas Novins, M.D., Marika Wrzosek, M.D., and Matthew Siegel, M.D. As part of the task force's information-gathering process, a survey will be distributed to the membership to help the task force learn more about your opinions and attitudes on this subject. It is important that we hear from the entire membership so that the survey results adequately represent the opinions of the majority of Academy members.

Through its work so far, the task force has observed that many members are not aware of the policies and processes by which AACAP manages its financial interests, member benefits, and relationship with pharmaceutical and other commercial entities. This topic has been discussed by leadership for quite some time and before members are asked to give their opinions on these critical issues, the task force would like to share some of the valuable information and related resources that have been part of its review. We encourage you, as active, invested AACAP members, to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the resources that guide AACAP operations and related facts and figures, before taking the survey.

We very much look forward to your input on this topic as leadership continues to plan for AACAP's future.


Marilyn Benoit, M.D.
Chair, AACAP Pharmaceutical Task Force

Current Management of AACAP's Relationships with the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • The AACAP Transparency Portal, developed in 2008, is available to all members online and provides information about AACAP's assessment and management of conflicts of interest, including financial reporting, guidelines for disclosure, and related resources.
  • The AACAP Treasurer's Report, available through the Transparency Portal, provides a list of funds received from pharmaceutical companies, by name, amount, and activity.
  • The Operating Principles for Extramural Support of AACAP Meetings and Related Activities, developed in 2003 and available through the Transparency Portal, provide the framework through which members of AACAP, and AACAP meeting attendees and supporters can foster high quality scientific and educational programming in the context of full financial disclosure.
  • Oversight of all contributions from the pharmaceutical industry is the responsibility of the AACAP Executive Committee, Council, and under specific circumstances, the Grants Oversight Committee.
  • AACAP Executive Committee, Council, the JAACAP editorial board, and all committee members are subject to explicit policies on conflicts of interest and disclosure reporting.
  • AACAP's president, president-elect, program committee chair, and JAACAP's editor-in-chief, refrain from participation in speakers' bureaus and advisory boards associated with pharmaceutical companies.
  • JAACAP's editor-in-chief and members of the Committee on Quality Issues involved in the creation of Clinical Practice Guidelines may have no financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry during their tenure.
  • AACAP publications, including JAACAP, AACAP News, and specific meeting materials, accept advertisements from commercial interests, including the pharmaceutical industry. Advertisements are subject to strict policies and are vetted by editors and staff prior to publication.
  • AACAP's investment portfolio is managed by a third party investment company. AACAP's Executive Committee and Council are blind to the selection of investments. The investment policy prohibits investments in alcohol and tobacco.
  • The Research Initiative (RI) is funded by multiple pharmaceutical companies and supports the Junior Investigator Awards, the Research Forum, and the Founders Symposium. The Research Committee is responsible for oversight of RI expenditures, and is funded by AACAP's general operating budget, in a manner consistent with all other AACAP committees.

Facts about AACAP's Relationships with the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Since 2003, AACAP revenue from pharmaceutical industry sources has dropped from an average of 11.6% of overall revenue to 5.27% in 2012.
  • In a survey of AACAP regional organizations (RO), 8 of the 30 responding ROs revealed that they maintain explicit policies on relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.
  • For the past 7 years, Annual Meeting attendees have ranked the meeting as "free of commercial bias" with the highest rating compared to any other elements being evaluated.
  • In 2006 and 2012, AACAP received Accreditation With Commendation from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The ACCME stipulates Standards for Commercial Support with which all education providers must comply in order remain accredited.
  • Once a year, AACAP hosts a meeting with representatives from pharmaceutical companies to review AACAP's Operating Principles for Extramural Support of AACAP Meetings and Related Activities and discuss ongoing activities between the pharmaceutical industry and AACAP. This sets clear guidelines for pharmaceutical interactions with AACAP and opens communication for new opportunities for collaboration.
  • AACAP is in compliance with 22 out of 36 standards recommended by Rothman et al (JAMA 2009). In an informal comparison with 9 other professional medical associations, AACAP ranked 2nd in overall compliance.
  • Although pharmaceutical funding has traditionally supported the International Reception, this practice has been discontinued as of 2013 in favor of general Annual Meeting support.
  • See the chart below for ways AACAP utilizes the income received from pharmaceutical sources.

Pharmaceutical Support 2010-2013

Pharmaceutical Support 2010-2013

For a complete listing of pharmaceutical support, check out AACAP's Treasurer's Report available through the Transparency Portal. It provides a list of funds received from pharmaceutical companies, by name, amount, and activity.