ACNP Financial Disclosure & COI Firewalls

General Firewalls:

  1. Companies must apply to ACNP for participating corporation status. In this application the company must summarize their original research in the CNS area and they must demonstrate their interest in and commitment to the mission of the College.  If accepted as a participating corporation, companies are told that they are expected to abide by the ACNP Code of Conduct for Participating Corporations. Additionally, companies are given the Guidelines for Participating Corporation.
  2. Participating corporation status within the College does not entitle a company to vote on ACNP official business.  In fact, companies are not allowed to attend meetings in which official business is conducted, e.g. Council meetings, member business meetings, Program Committee meetings, Publications meetings, etc. 
  3. Companies, or their representatives, are not appointed to ACNP committees, although they are sometimes asked to serve as ad hoc members, without voting privileges, on certain task forces or committees on which they could make an important contribution.
  4. Grants from companies must be unencumbered of obligation to the sponsor, support legitimate scientific or educational purposes, be based on objective criteria, and must not represent payment for influence or favorable treatment.
  5. Grants are only accepted by the College in support of programs such as educational programs or research fellowships that are designed to be of benefit to the field and are independently managed by members of the College.  Grants are only accepted from companies that have been approved as participating corporations.
  6. All grants are publicly disclosed on this website. (Click here to see a listing of all funds the College receives from drug companies.) All funds received from grants are used for the purpose designated in the grant. Any funds that may remain from those grants are reported on our annual audited financial statement, are carried over and used for that purpose in subsequent years, or are returned to the granting company.
  7. The ACNP Executive Office staff handles all financial matters with participating corporations, i.e. collecting fees and making grant requests.  Staff members have no vote on any official ACNP program activities.  The ACNP members who participate in those official College activities are not involved in financial matters and often are not aware of the financial contributions that may or may not have been made by any company.
  8. All members of key ACNP bodies such as Council, and all committees are required to fully disclose all potential conflicts of interest at least annually.  Further, before each meeting of these bodies specific members and officers of the College are charged with the responsibility to monitor for conflict and to make sure that anyone with a conflict of interest relevant to a particular discussion has disclosed that COI and if appropriate, has been recused from the discussion.

Annual Meeting Firewalls:

  1. All participating corporations are treated the same.  Each is offered the same opportunity to support the meeting and each is acknowledged and recognized in meeting materials based on the amount of grant support provided. No specific sessions are identified as having been sponsored by a certain company. No support is accepted from any company that has not been approved by ACNP Council as a participating corporation. 
  2. No participating corporation is allowed to attend the program committee meeting during which the program for the annual meeting is determined.
  3. No exhibits are allowed at the meeting, nor are any advertisements allowed in meeting materials.
  4. Participating corporations are not allowed to sponsor social activities, satellite sessions, or other events that take meeting attendees away from the meeting site.
  5. Participating corporations are allowed only a limited number of representatives to attend the meeting, and the majority of those should be scientists rather than marketing or administrative staff. 
  6. The activities of participating corporations at the Annual Meeting are monitored by asking all meeting attendees to report on the meeting evaluation any activity that they believed to be inappropriate.

Publications Firewalls:

  1. The ACNP does not accept advertising in any of its print or electronic publications.
  2. Editors and Associate Editors of ACNP books, journals, and electronic web sites must disclose to the Chair of the Publications Committee the names of organizations, institutions, companies and individuals (including intermediaries such as sub-contractors or conference organizers) from which they have received annual compensation for professional services in excess of $10,000 in any of the previous three years.
  3. Professional services include any activities for which the individual is or has been compensated with cash, royalties or fees, promised future royalties or fees, or stock or stock options in exchange for work performed, advice or counsel provided, or for other services related to the Editor's or Associate Editor's professional knowledge and skills.
  4. Editors and Associate Editors of College publications must submit this information to the Chair of the Publications Committee prior to appointment and must update the list on an annual basis, or more frequently if necessary.
  5. The information provided is used to make judgments about potential conflicts of interest, to assess whether the number and extent of potential conflicts significantly compromises the individual's ability to perform the tasks required of an editor or associate editor of an ACNP publication, and to appropriately manage potential conflicts of interest by recusing the editor from any matters in which he/she may have a conflict.
  6. An accusation that an Editor or Associate Editor has violated the conflict of interest policy shall be referred to the ACNP Ethics Committee for consideration and investigation. The Ethics Committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Publications Committee and Council for action.
  7. An Editor or Associate Editor found guilty of violating the conflict of interest policy is subject to sanction, up to and including forfeiture of the editorship.

The ACNP receives funds from its participating corporations.  Click here to see a listing of funds the College receives.