Question: A company that manufactures important devices in my field wants to host a dinner for fellows from five select institutions at our next professional society meeting. The dinner will be at a well-known, expensive restaurant. Can my fellows attend?
Answer: The company is organizing the dinner to buy goodwill and loyalty from specialists who will soon be in practice. The dinner is a gift and should not be accepted. [go to to section 2(b) of policy]
Question: A pharmaceutical company is supporting a visiting professor who will lecture at grand rounds in my department. I understand the company cannot supply food for this event. It’s scheduled at 8 am, and I would like to serve breakfast. What are my options?
Answer: Ask your department director if there are unrestricted funds that you can use for this purpose. He may choose to use pooled funds donated by companies and others to support meals at such events. [go to to section 2(b) of policy]
Question: As a nurse-manager, I supervise several nurses on an inpatient unit. We routinely use equipment from a particular large medical supply company. Although I serve on a committee that makes purchasing recommendations, I am one of about fifteen members. Each year at Christmas, the company sales rep sends a fruit basket to my nursing unit. Can we accept the basket?
Answer: While the fruit is no doubt appreciated, it is a gift from an industry representative and therefore should not be accepted. As of July 1, 2009 industry sales representatives will have to certify that they agree to abide by the JHM Interaction with Industry policy, which does not permit JHM staff to accept gifts from industry. If you receive the gift again, you should notify your department administrator who should politely remind the sales representative that the policy does not allow acceptance of gifts. In the meantime, it’s recommended that you deliver food items to a food bank or soup kitchen. [go to to section 2(b) of policy]
Question: As a nurse manager, I must earn a certain number of continuing education (CE) credits each year. Many of the CE events sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association) are sponsored by healthcare companies. If I attend an ANCC event that is sponsored by a company, can I accept the meals that are part of the program?
ANCC, ACCME (Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education) and most continuing education accrediting bodies in the health professions have standards for commercial support of their continuing education events. Provided the event is accredited by a group that has such standards and that the standards provide for independent development of educational content and transparency of commercial support, Johns Hopkins staff may accept meals that are part of the accredited CE program.