(HealthDay News) — The Guidelines International Network has developed principles for disclosure and management of conflicts of interest (COIs) during the clinical practice guideline development process, according to a report published in the October 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Holger J. Schünemann, MD, PhD, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues developed guidance on the disclosure of interests and management of COIs in response to requests from international membership and using a consensus-based process. The guidelines were informed by existing syntheses of the evidence and policies of international organizations.

The researchers found that throughout the clinical practice guideline development community, current approaches were relatively similar, with an increasing recognition of the significance of disclosing and managing indirect COIs. Differences in detail were identified among the approaches; however, the similarities allowed for formulation of nine core principles for COI management.

“In formulating these principles, the Guidelines International Network Board of Trustees recognizes that COIs cannot be totally avoided when choosing panel members for certain guidelines or in certain settings; thus, the important issue is the management of COIs in a fair, judicious, and transparent manner,” the authors write.

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