OHSR.3 Organization Policy on Press Releases and other Planned Publicity for Industry-Sponsored* Clinical Research Studies

May 2014

It is important for the Organization to use media outreach in the form of press releases and other planned publicity (publicity) to maintain our positive reputation, showcase the leadership role of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation, and any of their constituent parts (JHM) in discovery and innovation, and disseminate news and new advances. 

However, it is the policy of the Organization that it does not support publicity, whether generated internally or by outside organizations, about industry-sponsored clinical research studies (whether sponsored directly or through organizations that receive substantial support from industry) at JHM except when the publicity is based on results reported in peer-reviewed journals or during scientific conferences.  In addition, the publicity should be carefully drafted to avoid implying endorsement of a product or overstating the benefits of the research.  In both written and verbal communications about research, investigators should apply these principles.  Investigators and other Johns Hopkins personnel may not be quoted in news releases or publicity generated by outside organizations. 

Generally, publicity for industry-sponsored clinical research should be limited to publicizing results of studies that are published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at professional gatherings, such as conferences.  An exception may be permissible where the research team can provide evidence or justification to the JHM Institutional Review Board (JHM IRB) that study recruitment is behind schedule and/or that the potential recruitment pool is very small (e.g., need to recruit identical twins into an interventional study or the study involves a very rare disease) such that the goals of recruitment into the research might not otherwise be met. In that situation, the Organization will consider supporting publicity after a request to proceed with publicity has been reviewed and approved in writing by the JHM IRB at a convened meeting. Upon notification of JHM IRB approval to proceed, the text of any Johns Hopkins press release will subsequently be drafted by the JHM Office of Media Relations and Public Affairs. Proposed publicity from any outside organization must be reviewed and approved under these standards by the JHM Office of Marketing and Communications.  The JHM Office of Marketing and Communications is located in Fells Point at 901 S. Bond Street, Suite 550. Media related inquiries can be sent to Kim Hoppe at [email protected] or to [email protected] or 410-955-6681.

* (whether sponsored directly or through organizations that receive substantial support from industry)