Recent literature questioning the relationships between medical professional societies and industry supporters have propelled the American College of Radiology, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Cardiology, American College of Rheumatology and American Society of Plastic Surgeons to address the issue.

Their joint statement comes after an April article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that called for medical associations to cut off most of their industry funding, excluding journal advertising and exhibit hall fees. The Institute of Medicine has also released a report on this topic.

Medical professional societies can and do have ethical, positive relationships with industry, as do others in federal and state government and the foundation community,” the societies wrote. “But public funding, particularly in the current economic climate, for education, quality initiatives and research is limited. Foundation and other such philanthropic support can only go so far.”

The bodies contend that without industry support, they would not be able to provide the same level of education and science to advance the quality of patient care. 

Furthermore, the societies announced they are considering the development of an ad hoc self-funded coalition “for medical associations to develop and articulate best practices and a common code of ethics for managing relationships with industry.” Core principles would include Transparency, Patient Centeredness, Active Management of Conflicts of Interest, and Accountability and Reporting.