165824 Avoiding Conflicts of Interests in the IARC Monographs

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 10:50 AM

Vincent James Cogliano, PhD , IARC Monographs Programme, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
Conflicts of interests have the potential to influence the scientific basis that guides the development of public health policy. This can occur through decisions about what research to fund or publish and through the expert panels that evaluate the available research. To avoid undue influence by special interests, many scientific journals and government agencies have strengthened their guidelines for addressing conflicts of interests. In addition, they are using a broader definition of conflicting interest that goes beyond financial interests to include employment, consulting, and research support.

The presence of conflicting interests on scientific panels is receiving much attention. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has gained experience with avoiding conflicts of interests on its IARC Monographs Working Groups and Advisory Groups. IARC insists on full disclosure of conflicting interests and uses objective criteria to elicit this information. At each meeting, IARC presents relevant examples of conflicting interests and asks scientists to update their disclosure forms. Scientists with conflicting interests do not perform critical functions such as chairing a meeting, drafting text that describes or interprets cancer data, or developing conclusions.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize conflicts of interest that may compromise an expertís impartiality. Identify several forms of tampering that may occur with expert panels. Develop strategies for promoting impartiality of scientific advice.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.