- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has updated its conflict of interest policy for scientific committee members and experts to make it more balanced and transparent.
- The gist of the changes is that the level of involvement of an individual on a certain project or topic should be customized based on his or her previous professional roles and involvement.
- For declared interest, there should be a three-year cooling-off period. Whereas if there was a financial interest that no longer exists, no cooling off period is needed. And if a person has been a CEO or executive at a pharma company, there should be no involvement with drugs or policies directly related to that company—ever.
The EMA's conflict of interest policy as it relates to scientific committee members and experts reflects a sense of fair-minded pragmatism. Although the requirements for experts of scientific committees are stricter than for those participating in advisory boards and ad-hoc expert groups, and those for chairs and leading members is strictest of all, the goals of the policy are the same: To procure the most qualified experts and utilize their expertise in a way that is ethical, transparent, fair, balanced and ultimately, productive.