Feinberg is committed to high standards in research and medical education. Through their provision of patient care, NMHC supports Feinberg's research and educational missions. To that end, we recognize the importance of sustaining strong and healthy relationships with industry, particularly in the field of biomedical research. However, to maintain the public trust, it is important that these relationships not be or appear to be influenced by factors other than the best interests of the patient and the pursuit of knowledge. In this context, Feinberg and its affiliates have established policies that both provide for transparency through the disclosure of external professional relationships, and establish rules governing the conduct of such relationships.
The disclosure policies require Feinberg faculty and certain NMHC, Lurie Children's, and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab personnel to disclose annually and transactionally all outside interests that may pose a conflict. The creation and implementation of the online Joint Affiliate Annual Disclosure Survey and associated policies made the reporting process easier, thereby facilitating the prompt review and evaluation of these disclosures by the appropriate affiliates. In the event of any potential research-related conflicts, the Feinberg Conflict of Interest Committee (COIC) is apprised and assumes responsibility for review and further consideration to determine if an actual conflict of interest exists. If a conflict is found to exist, the COIC further decides whether the conflict can be managed or reduced, or if it must be eliminated. The Committee works in partnership with the NU Office for Research (Office for Sponsored Research and the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects) and the NU Conflict of Interest Office (NUCOI), as needed.
Other policies regulate the relationships that physicians and staff have with industry. The policies, by way of example, include the following:
- Prohibition of acceptance of gifts from industry;
- Limitations as to the circumstances under which physicians can accept meals; and,
- A requirement that NMG physicians document, via written contract, any consulting relationships, and that the compensation received for such services must not exceed fair market value.
Our purpose at the Feinberg Office for Regulatory Affairs is to assist Feinberg faculty and staff in navigating the ever-changing compliance landscape. We encourage Feinberg faculty and staff, and the public, to contact us with any questions. University faculty and staff should also note that they can use EthicsPoint for a simple, quick way to report potential misconduct or violations of University policy.