Disclosure ECNP Executive Committee members
In the interests of transparency, ECNP Executive Committee (EC) members are required to disclose all external interests that may be deemed to have a bearing on their professional independence. These disclosures are published here.
The ECNP's policy on relations with industry and other organisations
ECNP exists to bring together all those involved in the science and treatment of disorders of the brain – from neuroscience, clinical psychiatry and neurology, industry, regulatory bodies and patient groups – in order to improve our understanding of how treatments work, how they should be used, and how new discoveries and insights can generate therapeutic innovations and better lives for those suffering from these disorders.
In executing this mission, ECNP’s Executive Committee (EC) and office-holders are answerable to the membership of ECNP and the broader public interest. To ensure that it remains independent, both in appearance and fact, we have developed rules of conduct that are designed to increase transparency and reduce the risk of conflicts of interest.
Revenue to ECNP from industry
Direct and indirect funding from industry for the ECNP Congress plays an important role in making possible an internationally competitive programme, as well as keeping the cost of attending the congress lower than it would otherwise be for individual participants and enabling the participation of junior scientists and clinicians in training.
Direct contributions to the ECNP Congress are made by companies in recognition of the opportunities the congress provides to erect informational stands and present scientific research at satellite symposia. Indirect support comes in the form of contributions offered to individuals, which allows them to attend the meeting. The desired effect is to enable more people to participate in and benefit from the congress, while regulating the promotional activities of the companies involved. ECNP continues to be unusual in the degree to which sponsorship and other forms of commercially oriented support are not accepted.
The scientific content of the annual meeting has always remained the exclusive responsibility of ECNP’s Scientific Programme Committee (SPC). The chairman of SPC serves on the EC. It is a very difficult task to weigh the different proposals that are received and often edit them substantially to get the right balance of speakers and topics. We believe that conflicts of interest within the programme planning process are more likely to be non-monetary and only rarely relate to industrial collaborations. Nevertheless, they require just as much vigilance.
The content of industry-sponsored satellite symposia is reviewed but not proposed by ECNP. ECNP, however, reserves the right to insist upon modifications. Moreover, great care is taken to ensure that satellite symposia are scheduled so as not to encroach upon the main scientific business of the meeting and are of a high scientific quality. Indeed, they are expected to enhance the profile of the meeting, for example by bringing international speakers. It will be obvious that the desirable balance between the activities provided by satellite symposia and the substance of the meeting is a dynamic one. This balance is kept under critical review by EC and by all members of the ECNP.
Guidance for EC Members and Officers
Responsible positions almost invariably come with potential conflicts of interest. By conflicts of interest we mean allegiances or hostilities to particular groups, organisations or interests, which may influence one’s judgements or actions. The issue is particularly sensitive when such interests are private and/or may result in personal gain.
Our expectation is that EC members and Officers will always endeavour to recognise such interests and to act independently and in the greater interest of ECNP when giving their best judgements on matters of policy and procedure. It is also essential that EC members and Officers are seen to exercise such independence, should their judgements be subject to public scrutiny.
Consequently, EC Members and Officers must disclose their potential conflicts of interest. These should be declared before election and updated annually – retrospectively for the preceding year – and be freely accessible to the public.
As guidance, the risks that should be addressed lie in particular areas:
1. Where individuals have published patents or inventions from which they may derive personal benefit in the area of psychopharmacology.
2. Where there is ownership or part ownership of a company with interests in the area of psychopharmacology. This includes holding the shares of major companies in one’s own name, or those of dependent family members.
3. Accepting a personal retainer from any company with an interest in psychopharmacology.
4. Acting as a consultant to any company with an interest in psychopharmacology.
5. Acting as an expert witness, either friendly or hostile, for any company with an interest in psychopharmacology.
6. Holding a research grant from any company with an interest in psychopharmacology.
7. Membership of the speakers’ bureau of any company.
8. The acceptance of paid speaking engagements in industry-supported symposia.
9. The acceptance of travel or hospitality not related to a speaking engagement.
Members and Officers of EC are expected to declare their primary employment(s). Related concerns are appropriate if the relationships implied under any of items 3-9 also exist in respect of a relationship to a voluntary organisation, a charity, a law firm, a department of government, an investment company or any other formally constituted body with interests in the field of psychopharmacology.