SOBP Conlict of Interest Policy

SOBP Conflict of Interest Policy (PDF)

The SOBP Conflict of Interest Policy specifies that a violation has occurred if any action is taken which might result in or creates the appearance of:

a. giving preferential treatment to any organization or person;
b. using one’s office for personal gain;
c. losing complete impartiality or independence; or
d. affecting adversely the confidence of the public in the Society of Biological Psychiatry.

I. All members of SOBP Council and Committees, and all Editors (to include associate editors, deputy editors, website editors or any other paid editorial staff) of SOBP Publications will be required to disclose any financial relationship that might create a conflict of interest (COI) on the SOBP COI Disclosure Statement. Disclosures should be made for immediate family members as well as the Council member, committee member, or editor. False reporting of COI is considered grounds for SOBP ethics charges. The COI Disclosure Statement is made up of four parts.

a. In part one of the COI Disclosure Statement ALL financial relationships or financial holdings should be listed, but the amounts of those relationships or holdings should not be listed. This list should include any of the following:

i. Member of Board of Directors
ii. Equity Ownership/Partial Ownership or Owner of Company should ONLY be disclosed if ALL THREE of the following are true:

1. The equity is in a pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device company or a company that provides services or products to SOBP or that proposes to provide services or products to SOBP.
2. The equity is held in an account in which the individual can exercise control over when / if stock is bought and sold. Equity that is held in diversified mutual funds, trusts over which the individual has no control, etc. should not require disclosure.
3. The equity has a value of $10,000 or greater on the date the disclosures are made each year.

iii. Speaker/Speakers’ Bureaus for a Company
iv. Consultancies
v. Patents and patent filings
vi. Any other honoraria or payments
vii. Grants from pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device companies directly or indirectly through a foundation, university, or any other organization should be disclosed.
viii. Grants from federal agencies (e.g., NIH, NSF, VA) need not be disclosed.
ix. Any financial relationships of a spouse or dependent child, if known

b. Part two of the COI Disclosure Statement should list those financial relationships which are listed in part one and have a value greater than $10,000 per year, OR financial holdings that are listed in part one and have a value of $10,000 or greater as of the date of disclosure.
c. Part three of the COI Disclosure Statement should list those financial relationships which are listed in part one and which constitute more that 5% of one’s personal income.
d. Part four should list all grants from pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device companies whether they come directly from the company or indirectly through a foundation, university, or any other organization.

II. All members of SOBP Council and committees will be required to complete a COI Disclosure Statement that will be submitted to the SOBP Executive Director. All editors will be required to complete a COI Disclosure Statement that will be provided to the SOBP Editor.

a. The SOBP Executive Director will then provide copies of disclosure statements for Council and committee members as follows:

i. For all committee members a copy of the disclosure statements will be provided to the relevant committee Chair, the SOBP Executive Secretary (or Council liaison), and the Executive Director (or staff liaison).
ii. For Council members and Editor, copies of the disclosure statements will be provided to the SOBP Executive Secretary, President, and the Executive Director.
iii. Before each meeting of these respective bodies the people identified above who have copies of the Disclosure Statements should review them and assume responsibility for ensuring that during the meeting any discussions and/or votes have been preceded with recusals of members with potential conflicts. In any specific instance, the member identified as having a potential conflict of interest may rebut the presumption of conflict, but the decision regarding that member’s participation in the discussion or the vote will be decided by the remaining members of the committee or Council.

b. The Editor will use the information provided in the COI Disclosure to make judgments about potential conflicts of interest and to assess whether the number and extent of potential conflicts significantly compromises the individual’s ability to perform the tasks required of an editor of an SOBP publication.

i. While the COI Disclosure Statements for editors will normally be reviewed only by the Editor, selected lists may be shared with other members of SOBP Council if deemed necessary by the Editor.
ii. In its annual report to SOBP Council the Editor will include a statement regarding the management of potential conflicts of interest and a summary of any actions taken during the year to address apparent or reported violations of this policy.
iii. An accusation that an Editor or Associate Editor has violated the conflict of interest policy shall be referred to the SOBP Ethics Committee for consideration and investigation. The Ethics Committee shall report its findings and recommendations to Council for action.
iv. An Editor or Associate Editor found guilty of violating the conflict of interest policy is subject to sanction, including forfeiture of the editorship.

III. All COI Disclosure Statements will be retained for reference in the SOBP Executive Office.

To view the full SOBP Conflict of Interest Policy form, please click here.

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