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Can faculty members participate in industry-sponsored speaking engagements?

If so, does the income need to be assigned to UPI?

The Policy to Limit Conflicts of Interest Between Health Care Professionals and Industry Representatives, adopted by the University of Colorado School of Medicine in May 2008, with updates in August 2012 and January 2014, prohibits faculty members from accepting free meals, drug samples, travel or gifts from manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, nutritional supplements or medical devices. The policy also prohibits Speakers’ Bureau participation by School of Medicine faculty, except in limited circumstances.   

The Industry Talk Approval Committee, which consists of SOM Faculty Officers and other SOM faculty members from various departments, must approve, in advance, all industry-paid speaking engagements. Approval by the committee will be considered for faculty presentations that represent a genuine service to the community and are solely for educational purposes. However, approval will not be granted if 1) the talk focuses on specific products; 2) the speaker is required to use any slides or other materials provided by industry; or 3) if the slides or other content are subject to any oversight or review by industry, with a limited exception to allow company review to ensure compliance with FDA regulations.   

The Speaker Request form is available on the Faculty Affairs Rules and Policies website, and the completed form should be emailed, along with a copy of the company contract in Microsoft Word form, to the Industry Talk Approval Committee. Please allow 10 days for review of the request.

Some faculty presentations are permissible and do not require review or approval by the Industry Talk Approval Committee. Under the above policy, faculty members may continue to:

  1. Receive compensation from an academic institution for serving as a visiting professor or presenting grand rounds.
  2. Give presentations where ACCME-approved Continuing Medical Education credit is awarded.
  3. Receive compensation for research consulting, as long as the research consulting does not in any way involve speaker’s bureaus or marketing for any industry products. Although not expressly defined by the SOM policy, “research consulting” includes activities that focus on planning, conduct or analysis of a clinical or scientific investigation or dissemination of the results of an investigation performed or coordinated by the faculty member. 

If a faculty presentation has been approved by the committee, or if it is exempt from review by the committee, the income received from the presentation may need to be assigned to UPI. Please review the Assignment of Income Document to determine whether the income is assignable to UPI. Generally, industry-sponsored speaking engagements that are considered “one-time” events do not need to be assigned to UPI. “One-time” means that the faculty member will not engage in repeat presentations for the same company, non-profit institution or other sponsor. You may also contact Robert Shikiar, Senior Legal Counsel for University Physicians, Inc., for more information regarding assignment of income to UPI.

For more information regarding industry-sponsored speaker approval, please see the Faculty Affairs Rules and Policies website, or contact Cheryl Welch at 303-724-5356.​