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Spine Society Assesses Adoption of Conflicts of Interest Policies

Last Updated: October 29, 2012.

The North American Spine Society has adopted strict divestment and disclosure policies with no detrimental effects, according to research published online Oct. 22 in The Spine Journal.

MONDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The North American Spine Society (NASS) has adopted strict divestment and disclosure policies with no detrimental effects, according to research published online Oct. 22 in The Spine Journal.

Jerome A. Schofferman, M.D., from the Spine Care Institute of San Francisco, and colleagues describe the experience of the NASS in implementing comprehensive conflicts of interest policies, focusing on conflicts of interest as they apply to professional medical associations rather than individual physicians.

The researchers found that NASS has managed its financial relationships with industry in a manner that has minimized influence and bias. NASS's current policies of disclosure and divestment have had no detrimental impact on membership, annual meeting attendance, finances, or leadership recruitment.

"The NASS experience can provide a template for other professional medical associations to help manage their own possible conflicts of interest issues," the authors write.

One author disclosed consulting relationships with companies that manufacture medical devices for the treatment of spinal disorders.

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