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Industry Guidelines FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Industry Guidelines

  1. Why do we have new guidelines for our relations with industry?

  2. To whom do the new guidelines for relations with industry apply?

  3. Do the guidelines apply to me if I work primarily or exclusively at a UCLA affiliated hospital or clinic, but not on the UCLA campus?

  4. Exactly what changes are required by the new guidelines for relations with industry?

  5. Can we have food supplied by vendors at rounds or other educational activities?

  6. Can we accept gift baskets sent by companies or their representatives?

  7. Can industry reps attend grand rounds or lectures?

  8. Can we still request educational grants from industry to support grand rounds, lecture series, or other educational programs?

  9. How can we organize CME courses under the new guidelines?

  10. Can faculty, staff, and trainees attend industry organized dinner meetings in the community?

  11. What is considered a gift?

  12. Can we receive free equipment?

  13. What items may I continue to receive from industry?

  14. Why can we no longer have pens, pads, or any materials bearing the name or logo of a product or a health care company in either the clinics or our offices?

  15. Are there any exceptions to the guidelines forbidding use of industry logos?

  16. Can a vendor provide free samples of drugs or devices to UCLA faculty and providers for patient use?

  17. Can faculty, staff, and trainees continue to be part of "Speakers' Bureaus" or similar programs sponsored by industry?

  18. Can faculty, staff, and trainees use slides or other materials prepared by industry when giving a lecture or public presentation?

  19. At professional conventions or scientific meetings, industry sponsors commonly provide meals as part of a symposium or other activities. Are these prohibited as well?

  20. Can I accept funds for fellowships from industry?

  21. Can I accept funds from an endowment for educational purposes?

  22. How may an industry vendor refer to its relationship with UCLA?

  23. How do we acknowledge university activities that are supported by educational grants from industry?

  24. How may a faculty member refer to himself/herself when consulting with industry?


  1. Q: Why do we have new guidelines for our relations with industry?

    A: Relationships of faculty, staff, and trainees with industry representatives help promote the educational, clinical, and research missions of the School of Medicine and the UCLA Health. These interactions also may, however, create conflicts of interest, improper influences on decision-making, or the appearance of impropriety. Recent research indicates that industry activities, such as gifts of even nominal value, may affect health care provider behavior and decisions. The new guidelines are designed to enhance positive and constructive working relationships with industry by minimizing any questions about improper influence of sales and marketing activities in the school and the system.
  2. Q: To whom do the new guidelines for relations with industry apply?

    A: : The new guidelines apply to all faculty (full-time, part-time, or volunteer), staff, trainees (students, residents, and fellows), and volunteers of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA or the UCLA Health. If you have (or should have) a UCLA Health Care or David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA ID badge, the guidelines apply to you.
  3. Q: Do the guidelines apply to me if I work primarily or exclusively at a UCLA affiliated hospital or clinic, but not on the UCLA campus?

    A: If you are a student, trainee, or faculty rotating to an affiliated program or site away from UCLA, these guidelines apply to you. If you hold a UCLA faculty appointment of any type, these guidelines apply to you regardless of where you work.
    If you are a staff member paid through an organization other than UCLA and not working on the Westwood campus, these guidelines may not apply to you. If you are unsure of your status, you may contact coi@mednet.ucla.edu for clarification
  4. Q: Exactly what changes are required by the new guidelines for relations with industry?

    A: There are five general changes that are required by the new guidelines:

    Gifts from industry should not be accepted by faculty, staff, or trainees at any time

    Financial support from industry for academic programs should be accepted by departments, divisions, or programs instead of individuals, and should comply with CME rules (i.e., should be made with "no strings attached" and no involvement in or influence over the activity in which the funds will be used)

    Meetings with industry representatives should be "by appointment only," and with a few exceptions, should be conducted outside of a clinical area

    All pens, pads, signs, or other materials that bear the name or logo of a company or product are prohibited in facilities of the School of Medicine or Health System (see answer to question 14)

    Faculty, staff, and trainees should make every effort to avoid participating in activities that create the appearance of a conflict of interest, that is, that their judgments in clinical, educational, or research activities are improperly influenced by relations with industry
  5. Q: Can we have food supplied by vendors at rounds or other educational activities?

    A: Yes. The intent of the guidelines is not to eliminate vendor support for educational activities. The guidelines state that educational activities should conform to ACCME guidelines whether or not the activity is a CME activity. Vendors may provide an educational grant to a unit which can use the funds to purchase food for a program or rounds. Departments may pool grants from multiple vendors to support educational activities. Acknowledgment of the support is appropriate and actually required by ACCME policy.
  6. Q: Can we accept gift baskets sent by companies or their representatives?

    A: All individuals and companies should be discouraged from sending holiday gift baskets.  However, if they are sent, appropriate handling includes putting the gift in a communal area of the office and sharing it with all personnel.
  7. Q: Can industry reps attend grand rounds or lectures?

    A: Yes if the lecture is open to the public. Tumor boards and M&M conferences are not open to the public.
  8. Q: Can we still request educational grants from industry to support grand rounds, lecture series, or other educational programs?

    A: Yes. Industry grant requests can be submitted by divisions and departments to support educational programs as long as the requests comply with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support. The Standards for Commercial Support must be adhered to whether an activity is a CME activity or not. Many companies now require that the requests be made on-line through the company's education department rather than through their marketing divisions. Requests for support for CME events should be made through the Office of Continuing Medical Education (310) 794-2620 for the School of Medicine or through the Office of Professional and Community Education in the Semel Institute for the neurosciences (310) 206-9299. If your event is not a CME activity, contact your department administrator.
  9. Q: How can we organize CME courses under the new guidelines?

    A: CME courses that bear the UCLA name must be accredited by the Office of Continuing Medical Education of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA or for the neurosciences by the Office of Professional and Community Education in the Semel Institute. Both offices have staff trained to assist in all aspects of planning the activity including adherence to ACCME, University, and UCLA guidelines.
  10. Q: Can faculty, staff, and trainees attend industry organized dinner meetings in the community?

    A: The policy attempts to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate educational activities. Activities organized entirely by industry, such as dinner meetings which many times are thinly disguised sales events, are inappropriate and attendance at these events is strongly discouraged.

    Attendance at an educational dinner meeting that conforms to ACCME guidelines would be acceptable within this policy (that is, one not organized and directly funded by industry). Academic units may organize educational events that are funded by industry contributions. The content and speakers at these events must be independent, cost of meals must conform with University policy (www.ucop.edu/ucophome/policies/bfb/bus79.pdf), and the support that was received must be disclosed to the audience.
  11. Q: What is considered a gift?

    A: Gifts are defined as items of any value received by faculty, staff, or students for which the recipient has not provided adequate consideration, that is, which the recipient has not earned. Examples of gifts that should not be accepted under these guidelines would include pens, notepads, textbooks, clocks, laser pointers, tickets to events, meals that are not part of an educational program, and payment for attending a meeting.
  12. Q: Can we receive free equipment?

    A: Free equipment should be accepted only under certain circumstances and with the appropriate documentation.

    Clinical Use: If the equipment is used on patients (for clinical use only, and not for research) then you should contact Purchasing (Campus Purchasing at 794-6029 or UCLA Healthcare Purchasing at 794-3620) for further guidance. Purchasing will help you with the appropriate documentation, which will include a purchase order or written agreement. It is very important that you have this documentation to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and University policies that apply to free equipment.

    Research Use: If the equipment is used for research only, and not on patients for clinical use, then you should contact the appropriate UCLA research office for further guidance. Contact information can be found at the Office of Research Administration website at: www.research.ucla.edu/ora/ or under a matrix with additional information at the link under "Contracts/Agreements-Who to Contact" at www.research.ucla.edu/oipa/SP_Matrix.pdf. If the equipment will be used for clinical use and for research, contact Legal Affairs at 794-3138 for further guidance in directing you to the appropriate office.
  13. Q: What items may I continue to receive from industry?

    A: Honoraria, grants, and informational materials are examples of items that you may accept. Honoraria and associated travel for a specific service rendered (e.g., speaker's fees) are not considered gifts because these are payments for a service. Competitive grants are not considered gifts. Educational materials that have been produced under Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) guidelines or published under a peer review process are not considered gifts.
  14. Q: Why can we no longer have pens, pads, or any materials bearing the name or logo of a product or a health care company in either the clinics or our offices?

    A: These types of materials in clinical areas or academic offices may create the appearance of impropriety in the eyes of patients and research subjects who see them. They may lead people to believe that decisions are improperly influenced by industry. In addition, there is evidence that acceptance of these types of gifts, even though they have little value, influences clinical decisions.
  15. Q: Are there any exceptions to the guidelines forbidding use of industry logos?

    A: Pens, pads, apparel and other office items should be free of vendor logos. Exceptions to this policy are (1) educational materials that are not available in any other form except as produced by certain vendors and (2) certain instruments in the ORs and other procedural areas that come with company names affixed to them.
  16. Q: Can a vendor provide free samples of drugs or devices to UCLA faculty and providers for patient use?

    A: Under certain circumstances, yes. On the Westwood and Santa Monica campuses, the UCLA Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee has established guidelines outlined in UCLA Health Policy 1307 defining when and under what circumstances samples will be allowed in the outpatient areas of the health system. Only drugs approved by the P&T Committee and appearing on the health system formulary may be sampled and the samples must be stored in a secure and locked cabinet with limited access to the locked cabinet by pharmacy staff, clinic physicians and other designated individuals designated by the Clinic Chief. The vendors cannot provide drug samples without a physician providing a specific request to the manufacturer as set forth in the policy and all samples dispensed in the clinic must be properly recorded in a log/record to facilitate patient notification in the event of a drug recall.

    Devices must also be reviewed by the Value Analysis Committee and all devices given to the clinic must be provided through a purchase order or a valid contract. No devices provided free of charge from the vendor will be permitted in the clinics.

    For other clinics or hospital systems in the community (including the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Venice Family Clinic), you may be governed by the rules of that specific facility. Please consult with your service or division chief regarding which policies apply at these locations.
  17. Q: Can faculty, staff, and trainees continue to be part of "Speakers' Bureaus" or similar programs sponsored by industry?

    A: Yes. Faculty, staff, and trainees always should strive, however, to ensure that their talks or public presentations are free of any commercial influence. In addition, they need to consider whether an industry-sponsored activity creates an appearance of impropriety and strive to avoid any activity that may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. Transparency and disclosure are an essential factor when participating in these programs.
  18. Q: Can faculty, staff, and trainees use slides or other materials prepared by industry when giving a lecture or public presentation?

    A: No. A lecturer is solely responsible for the content of his or her lecture and should not delegate creation of the content of slides or other educational materials to industry sponsors. The lecturer is expected to provide a fair, balanced, and, where possible, evidence-based assessment of therapeutic options and to promote balanced discussion of the topic. Slides or other materials used in a lecture cannot bear the logo of an industry sponsor or product.
  19. Q: At professional conventions or scientific meetings, industry sponsors commonly provide meals as part of a symposium or other activities. Are these prohibited as well?

    A: No. At professional or scientific meetings, the rules of the group organizing the meeting apply. When an outside organization has organized a meeting and has certified that the activities of the meeting comply with ACCME guidelines, the activities of the meeting are acceptable.
  20. Q: Can I accept funds for fellowships from industry?

    A: Under specific circumstances, yes. These funds may be accepted, but only by a department, division, or program, and NOT by an individual faculty member or by the fellow. Funds may be used to support the cost of the fellow's stipend (salary), benefits, travel, research, books, etc. Fellows should not be identified by the source of their funding. This could create a potential conflict of interest. If possible, the funds should be put in a fellowship fund that supports the unit's fellowship program and utilized across the entire program. Good accounting of how the funds are used should be maintained. Acknowledgement that one of the fellowship slots is supported by "x" corporation is appropriate attribution. The company providing the funds cannot be involved in the development or approval of the curriculum or rotation of the fellow. Similarly, the use or purchase of particular product(s) or services cannot be tied to the company supplying the funding.
  21. Q: Can I accept funds from an endowment for educational purposes?

    A: Yes. Funds for an endowment or to develop an endowment can be used for educational purposes. Funds should not be tied directly to specific curriculum, hiring of faculty, fellows, etc. Endowment funding can be acknowledged on websites and in brochures. Endowments may be developed with the understanding that the funds are unrestricted with regard to the specific curriculum or individuals that will be hired.
  22. Q: How may an industry vendor refer to its relationship with UCLA?

    A: In general ANY use of the University's name must be approved by the University in each instance.

    UCLA Policy No 110, Use of the University's Name, Seals and Trademarks (www.adminvc.ucla.edu/appm/public/110.pdf), states the following with respect to commercial use,

    "...Advertising that displays or lists the University as a user of any product or service or as the source of research information on which a commercial product, program or publication is based is prohibited. This prohibition extends to advertising using any name, picture, landmark, building or other indicia. Approval of an exception to this policy may be granted only in writing as provided in this policy..."

    In general, a company may list in their materials that they have given a gift to a particular program of the University. However, the company's marketing materials, stationery, forms, and any other materials produced by that industry vendor may not state or imply that the vendor is part of or affiliated with the University of California. Advertising may not display or list the University as a user of any product or service or as the source of research information on which a commercial product, program, or publication is based.

    Before any materials are produced, you may review these rules with Campus Counsel (310) 825-4042 to be certain that the materials comply with University policy.
  23. Q: How do we acknowledge university activities that are supported by educational grants from industry?

    A: Appropriate language to acknowledge grant support is: "This activity is supported by a grant from [name of company]." It is not appropriate to say that the activity is "sponsored" by the company.
  24. Q: How may a faculty member refer to himself/herself when consulting with industry?

    A: A faculty member may use the university's name and campus names in making a true and accurate statement of his/her relationship with, or employment by, the University of California. For instance, a faculty member may correctly state his or her official university appointment such as "John Smith, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA."

    Employees may not, however, use the university's names or campus names, or their affiliation with the university in any manner that suggests or implies university support or endorsement of any activity or program. In circumstances where there is a potential for university endorsement or support to be construed from an individual's use, a disclaimer is required.

    Employees should consult with the appropriate Vice Chancellor if any doubt exists regarding the requirement for a disclaimer.


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