Relationships With Industry

Category: Administration of Practice
Under Review: No
Issued by Council: January 1, 2010


  1. For the purposes of this standard, “industry” means any manufacturer or distributor of healthcare products, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
  2. A physician must not enter into a relationship with industry if it weakens the fiduciary relationship with any patient of that physician.
  3. A physician must resolve any conflict of interest resulting from interaction with industry in favour of his or her patients.
  4. A physician must always maintain professional autonomy and independence in any relationship with industry.
  5. A physician must disclose to a patient any relationship between the physician and industry that reasonably could be perceived as having the potential to influence the physician’s clinical judgment.
  6. When a physician participates in industry sponsored research activities the physician must:
    1. only participate in research activities that are ethically defensible, socially responsible and scientifically valid;
    2. only participate in research activities that have been formally reviewed and approved by an appropriate ethics review body;
    3. enroll patients in research activities only after full, informed, competent and voluntary consent of the patient or authorized agent;
    4. protect the patient’s privacy in accordance with provisions of applicable legislation;
    5. only accept remuneration that covers time and expenses at a reasonable rate;
    6. disclose to research subjects that the physician will receive a fee for participation and the source of that fee;
    7. when submitting and/or publishing information in any media, disclose any relationships with industry providing funding or other consideration for the research performed or the publication submitted;
    8. avoid entering into agreements that limit the physician’s right to publish or disclose results of the study or report adverse events that occur during the course of the study; and
    9. only participate in industry sponsored surveillance studies that are scientifically valid and expected to contribute substantially to knowledge about the drug or device.
  7. A physician involved in organizing or presenting at a continuing professional development event must:
    1. disclose to participants any financial relationship with industry for products mentioned at the event or with manufacturers of competing products;
    2. not conduct a seminar or similar event directly or indirectly for industry that promotes a product for the purpose of enhancing the sale of that product; and
    3. not accept reimbursement for expenses or honoraria at a rate that could reasonably be perceived as having undue influence.
  8. A physician must not claim authorship or contribution to the production of educational materials unless the physician has substantially contributed to the material.
  9. A physician must ensure that all industry contributions are declared on educational materials.
  10. A physician attending a continuing professional development event must not accept reimbursement for expenses from industry unless they are in the employ of the industry or are directly involved in the presentation of the professional development activity.
  11. When considering the use of clinical evaluation packages such as samples of medications or devices a physician must:
    1. recognize the influence on the physician’s prescribing choices;
    2. use appropriate clinical evidence to determine the choice of medication or device;
    3. document the type and amount of medication or device in the patient record; and
    4. not receive any form of material gain based on the choice of the product.
  12. A physician must not accept any personal gift of any monetary or other value from industry.
  13. Notwithstanding subsection (12), a physician may accept teaching aids provided by industry.
  14. A physician must not accept a fee or other consideration from industry in exchange for seeing an industry representative in a promotional or similar capacity.


The CPSA Standards of Practice are the minimum standards of professional behaviour and ethical conduct expected of all physicians registered in Alberta. Standards of practice are enforceable under the Health Professions Act and will be referenced in the management of complaints and in discipline hearings. About the CPSA Standards of Practice

Contact

For archived standards, policies and guidelines:
Chantelle.Brigden@cpsa.ab.ca