General Policy

The American Orthopaedic Association will accept industry contributions that directly support the critical objectives of the Association or advance associated activities that generate required resources to support the core objectives.  The following guidelines have been developed to define this process.


Sponsorship: Support for which the sponsoring organization receives recognition for its contribution, but not promotional information about the sponsor.
Advertising: The purchase of an advertisement promoting a company or product.

  • Any commercial support shall be clearly identified.
  • The AOA shall retain the sole discretion of determining the character and type of sponsorship or advertisement that will be accepted.
  • Industry support shall only be accepted if it does not compromise the image, integrity or ethics of the AOA
  • Support from multiple industry sources is preferable to avoid perception of conflict of interest, favoritism or bias.
  • Current or potential providers of commercial support may not dictate the form or substance of editorial or educational material.
  • Continuing medical education programs shall be created in compliance with the guidelines of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education (ACCME).
    • There must be no staff or consultants of the interested company involved in the development of the CME activities of the accredited provider or accredited CME unit.
    • All in kind support, or funds supplied shall be considered “commercial support.”
    • After each activity, the ACCME accredited provider shall ascertain directly from the learners and faculty if the learners or faculty perceive that the activity was commercially biased or commercial bias was perceived, the accredited provider must document the steps that will be taken to detect and prevent the presence of such bias in the future.
  • The AOA shall not accept advertisements that make unsubstantiated claims of therapeutic benefit or if substantial controversy exists as to the product or procedure efficacy.
  • The AOA shall not accept advertisements for devices or pharmaceuticals not cleared for marketing by the U.S. FDA without a statement regarding the product’s current FDA clearance status for particular use described.
  • The AOA shall not accept advertisements that include a photograph, picture or likeness of a specific physician or that include endorsement by a specific physician.
  • Sponsorship or advertisement shall not be considered an endorsement.
  • Advertisements shall be clearly differentiated from non-commercial content.
  • The sponsor’s logo may be utilized in recognition of support received.  To avoid perceptions of endorsement, the AOA and industry logos may not be positioned side-by-side on material that will be distributed to, or viewed by, the orthopaedic community or public.
  • The language acknowledging the sponsor’s contribution shall  be “this portion of the AOA meeting is funded in part by an unrestricted education grant from XYX Corporation”
  • Advisory panels developed by the AOA, designed to advance patient care by providing critical feedback to industry, are acceptable if the agenda and the content are  determined and controlled by the AOA and the formation of the panel meets the following criteria:
    • Open to all interest industry vendors with no favoritism
    • Topic focused on scientific issues and “product” related discussions rather than promotion and distribution tactics.
    • No direct honorarium to panelist. Panelist may be reimbursed for direct expenses (travel). Donation in recognition of the panelist participation may be made, and solely directed, by the AOA to an established OREF education and research fund.
    • Information collected solely on product development is for internal company planning purposes only and will not be distributed externally or carry an AOA endorsement or logo (no white papers, position statements, etc.) Information collected on issues relating to the advancement of education, research or the improvement of patient care should be published by the AOA (such as white papers, position statements, journal articles, newsletters, etc.) in an effort to support the AOA mission and tax-exempt purpose. Such publication shall provide attribution to the supporting company through recognition of its financial support only.

All support shall adhere to respective PhRMA and ADVAMED guidelines.

Revised November 2005