SIR Policy on Corporate Relationships
The Society of Interventional Radiology ("SIR") greatly values and relies upon financial support from reputable corporations to further SIR's mission to advance the science and art of interventional radiology and promote community health, patient welfare, and public education in this medical field. In many instances, financial support from corporate sponsors enables SIR to engage in continuing medical education programs, public education initiatives, and other activities that could not otherwise be pursued. The following guidelines were established to ensure that all of SIR's corporate sponsorship arrangements advance its mission and strategic goals, serve the best interests of the membership, retain SIR's independence, and avoid conflicts of interest.
1. Definition of Corporate Arrangements. For the purpose of these guidelines, "corporate arrangements" shall mean transactions in which SIR receives funds or other contributions from a commercial organization, either as a direct donation in support of an SIR program or activity or as part of a collaborative public education program or event.
2. Consistency with SIR's Mission. When appropriate and desirable, SIR may participate in corporate arrangements to support activities that will further SIR's mission to improve health and the quality of life through the practice of interventional radiology and to promote education, research, and communication in the field while providing strong leadership in the development of health care policy. SIR shall exercise sole discretion in choosing its corporate sponsors.
3. Review and Approval. Any proposed corporate arrangements, other than those involving just an unrestricted donation of funds, must be reviewed and approved by SIR's Executive Council to ensure that such arrangements would have no potential influence on SIR policies, are consistent with SIR's mission and goals, do not pose a conflict of interest, and in no way effect the objectivity of the association, its members, activities, and programs. SIR Executive Staff will review and approve prior to publication or dissemination all marketing materials bearing SIR's name, logo, and/or other identifying information for compliance with these principles and guidelines.
4. No Endorsement. Participation in a specific corporate arrangement should not in any way imply SIR's endorsement of that corporation's general policies, products, or services, nor imply that SIR will exert any influence to advance the corporation's interests outside the substance of the arrangement itself. SIR's name, logo and/or identifying information may not be used in a manner that would express or imply SIR's endorsement of the corporation or its policies.
5. Written Agreement. The terms, conditions, and purposes
of the financial support will be documented by a signed agreement
between the corporate supporter and SIR. In entering into a corporate
agreement under this policy, SIR will ensure to the extent feasible
that taxable and nontaxable payments are separately identified
and itemized in the agreement.
6. No Free Advertising or Return Benefit. Sponsors will not be entitled to receive free advertising (as that term is defined by the Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") or Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") rules and regulations) or other substantial return benefit from its contribution other than appropriate acknowledgments, items of nominal value, and/or the use of SIR's name and logo in materials promoting a sponsored activity or project. For the purposes of this policy, "nominal" shall be defined according to IRS regulations (i.e., less than two percent of the contribution or $74, whichever is less). SIR may, in its sole discretion, provide nonqualitative acknowledgments of a sponsors' contributions in its regular periodicals; however, sponsors will not be entitled to such acknowledgments as a condition of their contributions.
7. Acknowledgments. Consistent with the corporate sponsorship provisions of the federal tax laws, SIR may permit program materials and activities to include acknowledgments of financial and other support from organizations. Such acknowledgments may identify and describe the company's products or product lines in neutral terms and may include the sponsor's name, logo, slogan, locations, telephone numbers, or website addresses as long as such acknowledgments do not include (a) comparative or qualitative descriptions of the company's products, services, or facilities; (b) price information or other indications of savings or value associated with the company's products or services; (c) a call to action; (d) an endorsement; or (e) an inducement to buy, sell, or use the sponsor's product or service. Any such acknowledgments will be created, or subject to prior review and approval, by SIR.
8. No Product Promotion. Organizations may not be permitted to advertise, market, or otherwise promote specific products and services in connection with their sponsorship of SIR-related programs and activities, but products or services may be listed or displayed in a nonqualitative manner.
9. No Contingent Payments. SIR will not enter into a corporate arrangement where the amount of payment by the corporation is contingent upon attendance at an event or other measures of public exposure.
10. Free Items to Members. SIR will carefully scrutinize
any corporate arrangements that give an organization the right
to provide something of value to SIR members or other physicians
to ensure that the giveaway item or service is of nominal value
and is not tied to the volume or value of physician purchases
of the sponsor's products or services.
11. CME Rules. SIR maintains complete control of the content and speakers at any sponsored activity or event. Commercial sponsors will not control the planning, content, or execution of the activity. Commercial sponsors may not attempt to direct or influence the faculty or content of SIR programs, except that SIR may ask the sponsor for suggested speakers and reference materials. SIR will follow the Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), which are incorporated herein by reference and attachment.
12. SIR's Authority. SIR must maintain final authority on all collaborative projects and corporate arrangements. Direct contact between a sponsoring company and an SIR member(s) regarding a collaborative program/activity between SIR and that company shall be made only as approved by SIR.
13. Reports. Reports on SIR corporate activities will be regularly presented to SIR's Executive Council.
14. Exclusivity. Whenever possible and feasible, SIR shall seek funding for programs from a variety of sources. It is understood, however, that occasions may arise when support of a specific event, publication, or service from a single source is appropriate. SIR will exercise special caution so that in circumstances when single support is granted, SIR avoids conflicts of interest and guards against any perception of conflict of interest.
15. Indemnification/Insurance. Where appropriate, SIR will ensure that organizations agree to appropriate indemnification and hold harmless provisions to protect SIR and its officers, directors, employees, and agents against any liability that might arise out of the organizations' acts or omissions with respect to a particular arrangement, including but not limited to any acts or omissions relating to the marketing, sale, dissemination, and/or use of a corporate sponsor's products. SIR may also require corporate sponsors to add the Society to the sponsors' liability insurance where appropriate.
16. Termination. SIR reserves the right to terminate any corporate arrangement if the sponsor or its representatives or agents engage in any conduct, including but not limited to product promotion activities, that would lead SIR to reasonably determine that its continued participation in the arrangement with a particular company would adversely affect the goodwill and reputation of SIR or its affiliates. In the event of any such termination, SIR will relinquish the sponsors' contribution and return all unused funds. Upon expiration or termination, no further use may be made by the sponsor of SIR's name without the written approval of SIR.
17. Oversight. SIR's Executive Council is responsible for establishing the principles and guidelines governing SIR's relationships with corporations. SIR's Executive Director is responsible for day-to-day oversight of all corporate arrangements.
Approved by SIR's Executive Council: October 12, 2000