Joint Policy Review: Conflict of Interest: Recruitment of Subjects for Research Studies & MD Relations with Drug Companies

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  • Current Policies

    Read the current Conflict of Interest: Recruitment of Subjects for Research Studies policy here

    Read the current MD Relations With Drug Companies policy here

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    View feedback or join the online conversation click here

    Deadline: March 5, 2013

    Preliminary Consultation

    The College’s Conflict of Interest: Recruitment of Subjects for Research Studies and MD Relations with Drug Companies policies are currently under review.

    These two policies have similar themes relating to professionalism, conflict of interest and acting in the best interest of patients. As part of the review process, the College will be considering consolidating these two polices into a single document.

    The College is inviting feedback from the profession, the public and other stakeholders on these two policies.


    The Conflict of Interest: Recruitment of Subjects for Research Studies policy sets expectations for physicians in relation to the conflicts of interest that may arise in recruiting subjects for research studies, including offers of compensation to physicians, and patient consent.

    The MD Relations with Drug Companies policy sets expectations for physicians in maintaining appropriate, arms-length relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

    Underlying both of these policies is the principle that a physician has a fiduciary duty to always act in a patient’s best interests, and guard against compromising that duty by pursuing personal advantage, whether financial or otherwise, at the expense of the patient.

    Have Your Say

    A Working Group, composed of both physician and public members of Council, will be struck to review these policies in order to ensure that the final document reflects current practice issues, embodies the values and duties of medical professionalism, and is consistent with the College’s mandate to protect the public.

    To inform the review process, we would like to hear your thoughts on the current policies and any suggestions you may have for how the policies could be improved.

    More specifically, your views on the following would be helpful:

      • Does the policy provide useful guidance?
      • Are there any issues not included in the current policy that should be addressed? If so, what are they?
      • Are there other ways in which the policy should be improved?

    Next Steps

    The feedback obtained during this consultation will be used to assist the Working Group in evaluating the existing policies, and in determining the nature of the policy revisions that may be required. Once a revised draft policy has been developed, all interested parties will be invited to review that revised document, and provide comments before it is finalized by Council.

    Please provide your feedback by March 5, 2013.

    In providing your feedback, please identify which policy you are commenting on or simply indicate that you are providing commentary on the subject matter in general.

    To ensure transparency and encourage an open dialogue, feedback received is posted on our website in accordance with the posting guidelines.

    We value your feedback and thank you for participating in the policy review process.


    Email us your comments at jointpolicyreview@


    Post your comments to the public forum here

    Provide your feedback by mail:

    College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
    80 College Street
    Toronto, ON M5G2E2
    Attention: Policy Department – Joint Policy Review