Ethics and Disclosures
It is important to us that our patients know and understand our associations and funding sources for outreach programs, physician education programs, and research efforts so that they can make an informed decision regarding potential conflicts of interest.
Consistent with our mission, we strive to make the lives of our patients better through research and education. We provide education to other physicians to aid them in helping their patients and families. Dr. Foley serves on a number of advisory panels and consults primarily regarding the safety aspects of new drug development. We also do outreach programs for patients that are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, enabling us to answer questions from patients and their families on multiple sclerosis related topics.
We also participate in funded and unfunded research designed to answer our own clinical questions that we have and in clinical trials for new drug development. Large, complex research efforts requiring hundreds of hours of staff time and involving many expenses such as laboratory analysis and magnetic resonance imaging may have a budget of several hundred thousand dollars. Many of these activities result in monetary compensation from pharmaceutical companies that allow us to fund various clinic assessments and staff salaries. This compensation also allows us to pursue unfunded research that is not of interest to pharmaceutical companies, but that may help us to answer questions about MS. We appreciate the potential conflict of interest and rigorously review all our programs for consistency with our mission. We invite you to discuss any of these issues with us at any time.
The Sunshine Act was passed as part of the Accountable Care Act and mandated transparent accounting of all fund transfers from industry to physicians. We are in full agreement with this law as it better allows you (our patients) to better assess potential conflicts of interest that may be present. Our core mission at Rocky Mountain MS Research Group is to advance the science of MS therapeutics as well as improve the safety of existing agents. Doing this requires a constructive collaboration with industry, as this is where new drug development takes place. We are excited to be involved in advising industry, administering trials, and discussing best practices and drug safety with physicians on a commercial basis. Innovation in therapeutics cannot occur without this relationship, and we will continue to do our part to help eradicate the scourge of multiple sclerosis.
Dr. John Foley is the principal investigator for all trials conducted by RMMSC/RMMSRG. The bulk of this money is utilized in conducting research studies and supporting a large research staff consisting of doctors, researchers, and study coordinators and nurses.