The AGS complies with the ACCME 2004 Updated Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education. When there is commercial support for an educational activity, the role of the commercial supporter to facilitate conduct of the activity by providing funding to support an activity. AGS is responsible for the content quality and scientific integrity of all CME activities approved for credit. The following implementation strategies are followed:
Letters of Agreement
The AGS requires execution of a letter of agreement between the Society and the Commercial Supporter. In instances where there is a third party vendor engaged to help implement the program, the Society executes a letter of agreement with the Organizer of the Program as well.
Budget & Fund Management
A budget is developed for each commercially supported activity. For activities where the Society is working with a medical communications company, the budget is attached to and becomes a part of the letter of agreement. For programs where support is provided directly to the Society, internal budgets are developed by staff. We require submission of an expense report from third party vendors following upon completion of the activity. Commercial financial support may be used for a) honoraria for program faculty (amount decided by AGS), b) travel, lodging, meals for program faculty, c) meals, refreshments and receptions provided for program registrants and faculty, and d) program expenses including, facility rental, supplies, equipment. Commercial supporters may not pay directly for CME activity expenses (i.e. speaker's travel, honoraria, faculty dinner, etc.) - all payments must be handled by the AGS.
Control of Content
It is a requirement of partnering with the Society that we maintain control of the content of a program. We ensure adequate controls by requiring that AGS members be responsible for oversight of content development. We ask leaders of all educational programs to complete a compliance form indicating that they have read and understand the ACCME Essential Areas and Standards for Commercial Support. Commercial supporter representatives do not have a role in the following areas of a CME activity a) planning program content, b) selection of program speakers, and c) promotion of products during presentation.
Promotion Separated from Education
The Society requires separation of promotional activities from educational activities. Specific examples of how this requirement is implemented include: (1) we do not provide continuing medical education credits for our poster sessions as these take place in the Exhibit Hall; (2) we do not allow advertising in journal supplements that carry CME; (3) corporate linkages on our web site must be at least two clicks away from our site and are not allowed on web pages that are related to educational programming; and (4) we do not allow promotional activities within the obligate pathway to an educational event.
Acknowledgement of Support
The AGS acknowledges support in promotional and program material as follows: "This program is supported by an educational grant form XYZ Corporation." We do not include logos in our acknowledgements.
Staff work with the individual planning committees to determine the best approach to resolving conflicts of interest for the work of that group. Some examples follow:
AGS Annual Meeting
For the 2017 Annual Meeting Program Committee in July, staff reviewed Program Committee members disclosure forms and then assigned program committee members to sub-committees where they had no conflict of interest with the proposals received. Program Committee members who had a conflict of interest with any proposed program recused themselves from the discussion. For accepted sessions, staff worked with Moderators and the Program Committee member assigned to that session on any modifications to the topic or presenter that needed to be made because of an existing conflict of interest for a faculty member or moderator.
We instituted a new requirement for moderators in terms of conflicts of interest, charging moderators with resolving any conflicts of interest that exist as a result of any financial relationships speakers on their session have. Moderators who have a conflicts of interest related to the subject matter covered in the symposium they are moderating are assigned a "content moderator" who has no conflicts of interest related to the subject matter of the symposium and who is charged with overseeing all speaker presentations and handouts to ensure that they are well-rounded and free from bias.
Geriatrics Review Syllabus
For the Geriatrics Review Syllabus faculty conflicts of interest were resolved by having the content independently peer reviewed before publication by the Editorial Board and Question Review Committee. Six of the editors reviewed all the chapters and four editors reviewed all the questions during the editorial review process. Consulting editors reviewed all the content for pharmacotherapy and ethnogeriatrics. Additionally the editorial board and question review committee each met twice during the editorial process to review entire content and discuss all the material together as a group.
Other Educational Programs
Annual meeting symposia that are web-cast via the AGS website for CME credit go thru the same procedures as outlined for the annual meeting above.
Supplements to JAGS, Annals of Long-term Care, and Clinical Geriatrics extend the reach of annual meeting symposia. These supplements are based on annual meeting symposia, which go thru the same procedures as outlined above. In addition, the supplement is reviewed by a Program Committee member and a Content Expert, both of who have no conflicts of interest related to the subject matter covered in the supplement, to ensure that the material is well-rounded and free from bias.
Continuing Nursing Education
The American Geriatrics Society has been approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider No. CEP 10299) to provide continuing education.
Continuing Pharmacy Education Credit
For the AGS annual scientific meeting, the AGS also applies for pharmacy contact hours from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). ASCP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.