Framework for ethical conduct
The Arthritis Society aims to ensure ethical and transparent relationships with all healthcare stakeholders. As such, our collaboration with external partners is guided by the 2014 global Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration1 (the Consensus Framework) – a multi-stakeholder platform, open to endorsement by all health sector stakeholders. The framework seeks to identify common values and efforts to protect and promote values such as transparency, respect, trust, and clear and objective information about health treatments. The present document outlines how the Arthritis Society applies the Consensus Framework in its interactions with healthcare stakeholders.
The Arthritis Society’s application of the Consensus Framework is supported through internal policies and guidelines that respect its four overarching principles, including through the following examples:
- Put patients first
- The interests of people affected by arthritis are at the centre of all of the Arthritis Society’s work.
- Working as partners, at both the individual and organization level, the Arthritis Society aims to ensure that our collaboration with other healthcare stakeholders supports patients and their caregivers in making the best decisions regarding their treatment.
- Support ethical research and innovation
- The Arthritis Society will seek to develop and foster relationships with health sector stakeholders that encourage and support innovation, and help to fund its mission.
- We will not knowingly accept financial or gift-in-kind contributions or enter into a relationship with any company that manufactures any food, unregulated drug product or therapy that claims to treat or prevent arthritis that is not supported by scientific evidence.
- Ensure independence and ethical conduct
- The Arthritis Society will not seek or accept any gift (financial or with other commercial value) from any corporate or commercial entity that would bias the nature, quality, transparency and/or content of the programs and information we deliver, research we fund, or public policy and advocacy positions we adopt.
- While individuals or companies may have a particular interest in specific areas of the Society’s work and may therefore direct funds toward those activities or initiatives, the sponsor or funder cannot direct or influence the content of the information or activity.
- The Arthritis Society will strive to have a diversified funding base to ensure its independence is not compromised, or perceived as being compromised, when entering partnerships with external entities.
- Promote transparency and accountability
- The Society will be transparent through acknowledgment and disclosure of support provided by sponsors and funders.
- Donors must be acknowledged at each event where the funds are used through mention of company/organization name. Exceptions to this policy will be considered at the request of the donor on a case by case basis. For any donor or sponsor who contravenes our ethical framework, we reserve the right to end funding agreements.