To ensure good governance, interactions should be based on the fundamental principles of integrity, mutual respect, responsiveness, accountability, collaboration and transparency. The Code of Ethics of the European Association of Urology (EAU) addresses the core values of independence, fair market value for services obtained, and up-to-date scientific documentation for interactions with healthcare professionals, healthcare organisations, industry partners and patient organisations.
This Code of Ethics outlines how the EAU works with partners who provide unrestricted sustainable funding to contribute to the EAU’s strategic plan and annual work programme, and why this is important. This partnership is not solely financial and focuses also on scientific and educational projects and the corresponding transparent dialogue and exchange of independent expert views between the EAU and its partners.
The EAU represents the leading authority within Europe on urological practice, research and education. Over 18,000 medical professionals have joined its ranks. As a European non-governmental organisation, the EAU aims to bring together medical professionals, researchers, innovators and patients on a European platform to keep urological topics high on the public agenda.
Our mission is to raise the level of urological care throughout Europe and beyond by setting the highest standards in urological care. We also aim to promote efficiency and compassion in hospital and healthcare services.
With the ageing population, European healthcare systems face serious challenges in the coming years. The EAU’s vision for the future is to establish equal access to urological care in all European Member States.
Core Principles on Funding
The EAU Code of Ethics set standards for industry partners with regard to ethical interactions with the healthcare community. To make funding partnerships work in practice, ensure the integrity of both the funder and EAU is maintained, and demonstrate to other stakeholders that we value conscientious relationships, the following key principles underpin our acceptance of funding:
The EAU will maintain at all times an independent and strong patients’ voice on behalf of its member organisations. The potential effect of EAU positions on funders will never be a relevant factor in EAU’s policy development and decision-making process.
The EAU and its sustainable funding partners undertake to cooperate on the basis of mutual respect as fellow stakeholders in healthcare systems and delivery.
Funding received by the EAU for our operational programme to realise our vision and mission should be unrestricted in nature and contribute to the operational work programme to fulfil our strategic goals and objectives. The EAU will lead and/or cooperate in specific projects funded by the European Commission and other public/private sources which are in accordance with our policy and criteria. These projects may also require co-financing in the form of unrestricted funds from sustainable funding partners.
The funding support provided by partners should, wherever possible, be part of a long-term commitment to funding supported by a written agreement. The funding support may also be allocated to building reasonable reserves for the EAU to ensure the sustainability of the organisation.
No Single Source Funding
The EAU’s scientific/educational projects and events should be supported with an unrestricted grant by more than one industry partner or the European Commission or a Federation composed of several companies. The content of such events should be developed by an independent EAU working group of members established for the purpose.
A written agreement between the funder and the EAU outlines the nature and amount of the funding and the period covered.
The funding sources will be acknowledged in relevant publications linked to an EAU scientific/educational projects and events.
The amount of funding received and the sources are included in the EAU Annual Report and published separately on the EAU website.
Funding from the Pharmaceutical Industry
The EAU will apply the EFPIA Code of Good Practice on working with patients’ organisations in relation to any funding received from the pharmaceutical industry, whilst also building on the above-mentioned principles adopted, and other relevant European codes.
The EAU will ensure that the funding received from one company will be proportional to the overall budget and reflect our commitment to diversify funding sources.
Funding from the Medical Device Industry
The EAU adheres to the MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice and, accordingly, will implement these principles as it relates to patients’ organisations and in consideration of any funding received from the medical device industry.
As per MedTech Europe’s guidelines, grants are appropriate to support genuine independent medical research, advancement of medical science or education, and patient/public information. The EAU will assess its events with regards to conformity with the MedTech Europe Code.
The EAU will ensure that the funding received from one single company will be proportional to the overall budget and reflect our commitment to diversify funding sources.