|● Overall Guidelines|
|● Supplementary Guidelines|
|● Processes within the CCIC - How you can get involved|
|● Appendix A|
|● Appendix B|
The CCIC is nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship between the corporate sector and itself. Pharmaceutical companies are being asked to offer support for CCIC programs and because of possible perceptions of conflict of interest between the CCIC and pharmaceutical companies, this Policy on Receiving Financial Support from the Pharmaceutical Industry and Medically-Related Products Industry (hereinafter called the Pharmaceutical Policy) has been developed to assist the CCIC in dealing with the issues.
The CCIC considers the same policy to apply to the relationship between it and pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and/or distributors of therapeutic devices and of non-prescription health care products, such as vitamins and dietary supplements.
Pharmaceutical companies support voluntary health agencies for several reasons: to enhance patient and professional education programs and research under the auspices of an organization that serves the needs of individuals concerned with given illnesses; and to provide a means of increasing corporate visibility outside of the normal marketing or advertising channels. In most cases, companies will support a voluntary health agency's programs if their own corporate Research & Development strategy is focused on development of agents for treating the disease(s) that are of concern to the agency. In other cases, support will be provided simply in the spirit of good citizenship.
Support may be in the form of unrestricted grants and/or information about a company's product and/or monetary support for educational programs, conferences, publications, fund raising events and research projects.
Allowing the health care related industry (including pharmaceutical companies that produce cannabinoid drugs and those who do not, manufacturers and/or distributors of therapeutic devices and of non-prescription health care products, such as vitamins and dietary supplements) to support the CCIC can aid in fulfilling the mission of the organization. Such funds can be essential in the support of programs and research that the CCIC wants to conduct but cannot support out of current funding. The CCIC will accept funds only if provided without restrictions, with control over program and research content and/or development maintained as the responsibility of the CCIC.
The main risks to the CCIC of accepting support from such companies are that the CCIC may be perceived as endorsing a company's product(s) and/or be perceived by clients and/or physicians as a 'salesman' for the product(s). However, procedures can be put in place to allow for the acceptance of support for educational programs, research and fund raising events without such perceptions arising.
A specific concern relating to support from companies manufacturing and/or distributing therapies that modify the course of the disease or treat specific symptoms relates to the introduction of these drugs as new treatments: By soliciting and accepting support from the companies, it may create the perception that funds provided to us for education programs and research are contributing to the price of the drug or projected availability.
After review, the positive aspects of accepting program and research funds from pharmaceutical companies outweigh the negative aspects, and will allow the CCIC to undertake programs that are compatible with its Mission and meet its ethical and social responsibilities as long as the guidelines outlined in this Policy are followed.
The following seven overall guidelines summarize how the CCIC should act when receiving financial support of any kind from pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and/or distributors of therapeutic devices and of non-prescription health care products. The supplementary guidelines provide more detailed guidance for specific program areas and are an integral part of this Pharmaceutical Policy.
Financial support is solicited or offered in support of the CCIC educational programs which are developed for health care professionals. When such support is received the following must be adhered to:
Educational materials such as booklets, brochures, leaflets, newsletters, posters, videos, etc., may be written and produced with the assistance of an unrestricted educational grant from a pharmaceutical or medically related company. As with educational programs, this means that while the company may make suggestions, it cannot determine content, budget, selection of writers or illustrators. It is acceptable for the funding source to restrict donated funds to particular material(s).
The company should be acknowledged in the produced material(s). (See Appendix A for examples of acceptable credit lines and disclaimers.)
It is in the best interests of the CCIC to apply standard corporate sponsorship policies and guidelines to pharmaceutical and medically-linked companies. For example, developing sponsorship categories with corresponding dollar values and key benefits (logo and corporate recognition, etc.). Written agreements must be developed specifically defining sponsor benefits, including rights, public relations/personal appearances, and future options.
A request that does not fall within the CCIC’s sponsorship categories or guidelines would require careful consideration by the Board of Directors.
It is the responsibility of all levels of the CCIC to maintain confidentiality. Member lists are not to be provided or shared with any external sources. Participant evaluations of educational programs must be anonymous. Participants attending programs may choose to sign a company mailing list, but if this action takes place at a CCIC sponsored program, it must be made clear in advance that this is a personal decision and not associated with the CCIC.
It is illegal in Canada for pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies cannot set up a display booth to promote the company's prescription drugs at any CCIC organized/attended program or event. The company can act as a sponsor and be offered the opportunity to be recognized in meeting programs, on signs and through oral acknowledgement. Only the name of the company can be used, not the product.
Therapeutic devices and non-prescription health care products can be promoted to the general public since these devices do not claim to treat or cure a disease or condition. Therefore, display booths of such products as wheelchairs, walkers and other equipment can be set up at CCIC programs or events and can be acknowledged in meeting programs, on signs and through oral acknowledgement.
|PROCESSES WITHIN THE CCIC|
As stated in the Corporate Solicitation Policy (see below) the solicitation of businesses, corporations and foundations is the responsibility of the head office.
The CCIC Board will review the CCIC proposed contacts with companies falling within the Pharmaceutical Policy and will review the outcomes of those contacts on a yearly basis. In addition, the committee will have the responsibility for reviewing questions, as they may arise, of appropriate agreements or ethical issues and providing guidance. Staff support for the committee will be the executive director.
"The solicitation of businesses, corporations and foundations is the responsibility of the head office. Head office will use whatever methods are appropriate to solicit support and/or sponsorships, including direct mail, telephone, and person-to-person contact.
The following are examples of acceptable credit lines:
"Publication of this (booklet) (pamphlet) was made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from the XYZ company. (Company logo can be used)."
"Produced by the CCIC, supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the XYZ company. (Company logo may be used)."
If the CCIC is involved in the preparation of material about cannabinoids for a company, the CCIC’s assistance can be publicly acknowledged. However, the content should not include product identification: 'Prepared with technical assistance from the CCIC.'
In addition to the credit line, a disclaimer is also required on publications and other materials. The following are examples of acceptable disclaimers:
"Acceptance of this unrestricted educational grant by the CCIC does not constitute endorsement by the CCIC of any product(s) of XYZ Company. The CCIC does not approve, endorse or recommend any specific product or therapy but provides information to assist individuals in making their own decisions."
"The CCIC is an independent, voluntary health agency and does not approve, endorse or recommend any specific product or therapy but provides information to assist individuals in making their own decisions."
To overcome any perception of endorsement, any action to link the CCIC corporate mark (logo) with a particular product or company must first be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors and must meet the following recommended guidelines: