Commercial Interest: The ACCME defines a “commercial interest” as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests.
Financial relationships: Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, promotional speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities for which remuneration is received or expected. The ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to also include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.
Relevant financial relationships: Relevant financial relationships are financial relationships in any amount, which occurred in the twelve-month period preceding the time that the individual was asked to assume a role controlling content of the CME activity, and which relate to the content of the educational activity, causing a conflict of interest. The ACCME considers financial relationships to create conflicts of interest in CME when individuals have both a financial relationship with a commercial interest and the opportunity to affect the content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest. The potential for maintaining or increasing the value of the financial relationship with the commercial interest creates an incentive to influence the content of the CME—an incentive to insert commercial bias. The ACCME has not set a minimum dollar amount for relationships to be considered relevant and does not use the term significant to describe financial relationships. Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship.
Conflict of Interest: Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.