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UMMS Faculty and Student Vendor Relations Conflict of Interest Policy

Reason for Policy - This policy seeks to prevent conflicts of interest between commercial vendors doing business with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and UMMS’ faculty members, and students. Such potential conflicts can be viewed as influencing patient care and/or purchasing/procurement. This policy, working in tandem with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Ethics Laws (M.G.L. c. 268A), strives to ensure that relationships between the UMMS Faculty Members or Students and commercial vendor representatives enhance the University’s mission as a center of excellence for teaching and research.

A vendor is defined as a company or person offering a good for service or sale. This definition includes, but is not limited to, pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers and supply companies.

This policy recognizes that some UMMS faculty members provide patient care and/or conduct research in various hospitals, outpatient settings, and research centers that may have their own policies governing Vendor relations and conflicts of interest. Such policies may vary from this policy. When two or more policies govern the relationships of UMMS faculty members with commercial vendors, the faculty member must comply with all restrictions. Each faculty member must identify and adhere to the applicable policies.

People Governed by This Policy - The UMMS Faculty and Student Vendor Relations Conflict of Interest Policy apply to all UMMS faculty members and students, unless otherwise specified. When UMMS faculty are subject to other laws, regulations or policies, this policy supplements those laws and regulations and policies but does not supersede them. In each case where such laws or regulations or policies differ from this policy, faculty members must comply with the most restrictive applicable standard. 

Some of the specific areas of the policy that apply to medical students are indicated below, however, students are responsible for abiding by the entire policy which is available here.

Product Fairs: Product fairs at UMMS sites are allowed. Students and faculty members providing patient care may not accept offered samples.

Gifts to Students: Students in the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Nursing may not accept gifts from a vendor. Students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will adhere to the requirements of section (4).

Vendor Contributions to UMMS Student Educational Activities: In the event that a vendor wishes to contribute supplies, equipment or other goods/services of material value to support an educational activity, the vendor is responsible for contacting the appropriate program, department or school representative, respectively. It is understood throughout the process of approving such contributions that students will not be responsible for negotiating, securing or otherwise designating the allocation of these items of services. The department and/or the UMMS administration responsible for the oversight of such vendor goods or services must assure that they are acquired, managed and distributed in a manner that complies with UMMS conflict of interest standards. These standards include but are not limited to the avoidance of vendor names and brands on items of general use and assuring anonymity of the vendor’s name in association with any such items, whenever practical. All UMMS Student handbooks must explain that students can invite industrial, commercial or vendor groups to UMMS only after obtaining prior approval from their respective dean or the dean’s designee, who must make a recommendation for approval to the provost for final review and approval. 

The entire Vendor Relations Conflict of Interest Policy, Policy #04.06.03, can be found here.

(Effective date 10/17/12)

This content is current to the 2018-2019 Student Handbook. Please click here to return to the Student Handbook Table of Contents.