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Physicians and Industry - Conflicts of Interest

Faculty of Health Sciences

Policy on Conflict of Interest in Interactions with Industry


The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at Queen’s University is committed to the improvement of the health and well-being of our population, to the advancement of health sciences through research and the education of exceptional health sciences professionals. In the past, this mission has been enhanced by effective interaction with Industry. The intent of the Policy is to ensure that this mutually beneficial interaction continues in a manner that is compatible with currently accepted academic, professional and industry principles. Recognizing that there are many positive outcomes resulting from academic and industrial collaboration, including, but not limited to: new drugs, devices, procedures and career opportunities, this document establishes the FHS’s policy that governs interactions between all FHS members and Industry.

Interactions with Industry occur in a variety of contexts, including marketing of new pharmaceutical products, medical or rehabilitation devices and/or equipment; on-site training for newly purchased devices; educational support of health sciences, medical, rehabilitation and nursing learners, and continuing professional development/continuing health professionals’ education; in research activities; and in commercialization opportunities. FHS members may also participate in interactions with Industry off campus and in scholarly publications. In all cases, the interaction with Industry must be ethical, transparent and avoid any real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest that may jeopardize the integrity of the Faculty’s education, training, and research, or the reputation of either the FHS member or Queen’s University. Although certain interactions may have a real, potential or perceived conflict of interest, this does not necessarily preclude the interaction from occurring, providing that it is openly declared and appropriately managed. Failure to declare and appropriately manage is a problem.


The purpose of the Policy is to delineate the FHS position on real, perceived or potential conflicts of interest with Industry and to provide processes and mechanisms to address them. The intent is that all parties can be confident that all members of the FHS act with integrity, adhere to the highest ethical standards and that their decisions and actions are not inappropriately influenced by personal interest. No member of the FHS shall engage in activities that may create the potential for a conflict of interest, as defined in the Policy unless the activity has been disclosed and permission to proceed has been obtained from the person with the appropriate authority to grant such approval under the Policy. The Policy is intended to be consistent with and complementary to other policies and collective agreements that govern the conduct of the members of the FHS at Queen’s University. (See Appendix of relevant policies.)


 The Policy applies to all members of the FHS at Queen’s University. When in affiliated institutions, all Faculty of Health Sciences members will abide by the relevant guidelines of that institution or, where no such guidelines apply, by the standards set out in this document. Where two guidelines exist, it is required that faculty and learners will abide by the more rigorous of the two.

 If there is a conflict between the Policy and provisions of a collective agreement with regard to a faculty or staff member to whom the collective agreement applies, the collective agreement will prevail.

 Further note that it is possible for a faculty or staff member to be in compliance with all relevant University policies and collective agreements on matters of conflict of interest, and yet to not be in compliance with the conflict of interest guidelines of the granting agency where the activity in question relates to funds from a granting agency. It is recommended that Principle Investigators who are holders of a grant(s) review the COI policies of the granting agency to ensure compliance.

 Industry representatives are also expected to be familiar with the Policy and shall adhere to its principles.