Conflict of Interest Disclosures
The public must have confidence in the integrity of the process by which the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) makes its recommendations. The reputations of the USPSTF members as highly regarded researchers, clinicians, and academic scholars contribute to this objective and must be protected if the USPSTF recommendation statements are to be accepted and implemented. It is also essential that Task Force deliberations benefit from members' vigorous exchange of perspectives that are derived from and shaped by the member's research and/or practice experiences.
The intent of requesting disclosure of any potential conflict of interest is to ensure that the USPSTF provides a balanced, independent, objective, and scientifically rigorous product (including its recommendation statements) by understanding other interests that could potentially influence the work and decisionmaking of its members. The USPSTF requires each member to disclose all information regarding any possible financial and nonfinancial conflicts of interest prior to each meeting for all topics under development or that will be discussed at each meeting. Previous disclosures for continuing topics must also be updated to reflect changes in a member’s situation since the form was last completed.
Prior to each meeting or to new member appointment, all disclosures are reviewed by the Task Force Chairs according to the criteria specified in the USPSTF Procedure Manual and determined to be either Level 1, 2, or 3. The Task Force Chairs determine the final action on the member's eligibility to participate on a specific topic based on the nature and significance of the potential conflict.
- Level 1 disclosures include nonfinancial disclosures that would not affect the judgment of a Task Force member. These disclosures do not require any action.
- Level 2 disclosures include financial disclosures of $1,000 or less and nonfinancial disclosures that are relevant to a topic but not anticipated to affect the judgment of the Task Force member for that topic. These disclosures are announced at the Task Force meeting, but do not limit the Task Force member’s participation in the topic process.
- Level 3 disclosures include financial disclosures of a larger amount and significant nonfinancial disclosures that may affect the Task Force member's view on the topic. Actions for Level 3 disclosures vary according to the nature of the conflict, and may include preventing the member from serving as lead of a topic or on the workgroup of a topic, preventing the member from serving as a primary spokesperson for a topic, or preventing the member from taking part in all topic activities. As all new Task Force members are reviewed for conflicts prior to joining the Task Force, Level 3 disclosures are extremely rare.
All decisions are kept on file. The USPSTF Procedure Manual provides a complete description of the criteria for each level and range of possible recommended actions.
Level 3 Disclosures for Current USPSTF Members
Topic(s): Statin Use for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults, Screening for Lipid Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Level 3 Disclosure: Dr. Bibbins-Domingo has consulted for the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a nonprofit organization that evaluates the effectiveness of medical tests and treatments, on the cost-effectiveness of PCSK9, a new class of drugs used for lipid-lowering therapy.
Date of Disclosure: May 2015
Action: Dr. Bibbins-Domingo will not participate in the topic workgroup but may discuss and vote on the topic.
David Grossman: None
Susan J. Curry: None
Karina W. Davidson: None
John W. Epling, Jr.: None
Alex R. Kemper: None
Alex H. Krist: None
Ann E. Kurth: None
C. Seth Landefeld: None
Carol M. Mangione: None
Maureen G. Phipps: None
Internet Citation: Conflict of Interest Disclosures. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. January 2017.