Alliance meeting case study in preventing the appearance of bias

Here's another case from the session on preventing the appearance of bias.

    Case 3: Faculty selection

    Dr. Gray Matter has been asked by the American Society of Cardiac Cures to make a presentation regarding a heart gizmo newly released by Fix-It Device Company. Dr. Matter, an excellent presenter and world-renowned interventional cardiologist, is the primary researcher for this new product and spent ore than a decade developing it. He is a major shareholder in Fix-It, and has noted this on his disclosure form. The education coordinator for the society has noted the disclosure information and intends to discuss this during the upcoming Education Advisory Committee meeting.

Seventy-four percent of the audience voted via ARS that this had a high chance of having the perception of bias; 60 percent said it would be most difficult to comply with Standard 2 (resolution of personal conflicts of interest), 20 percent said it would be tough to comply with Standard 5 (content and format without commercial bias). The vast majority said they would exclude him altogether.

He still could be doable, some said, if he was limited to talking about the development of the product, not patient recommendations. Other possible mitigators people suggested included rigorous peer review, fact checking, making sure his results had been published in reputable journals, and add in competing devices. Or just offer the event as uncertified CME. One person pointed out that, if it was the only treatment for that disease, he could make an argument for Dr. Gray Matter being OK to use.

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