CRA Industry Council Guidelines

CRA Mission

The Mission of the Canadian Rheumatology Association is to represent Canadian rheumatologists and promote the pursuit of excellence in arthritis and rheumatic disease care, education and research.

General Principles Governing Partnership with CRA

  1. Any activity, as well as participants, must respect and adhere to the letter and to the spirit of the Canadian Medical Association Code of EthicsCanadian Medical Association Guidelines for physicians in interactions with industry and the Innovative Medicines Canada Code of Ethical Practices.
  2. Non-industry attendees to any accredited educational activity held under the auspices of the CRA cannot have any expenses covered nor receive any payment from industry.
  3. Once committed with a signed sponsorship form, sponsors and exhibitors will honour payment of sponsorship/exhibitor fees.

Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) General Guidelines

  1. The CRA will contract all hotel rooms and meetings rooms for the conference when delivered in person.
  2. The CRA expects all participants to adhere to their respective codes of ethics and conduct as per General Principles #1.
  3.  Exhibit
    1. In keeping with Innovative Medicines Canada guidelines, promotional and educational material available at the exhibit area must be consistent with the approved product monograph(s). Reprints of scientific and medical papers may be distributed, provided they are reprinted verbatim, and are not presented in a manner which differs in any way from the approved product monograph(s).   Provision of meals and refreshments is prohibited.
    2. When the conference is delivered in person, industry exhibit booth areas are restricted to the space as outlined in the Exhibitor’s Manual.  All items MUST be contained within this space. If the items exceed the space, then excess items will need to be removed.
    3. A notice of exhibit cancellation must be submitted in writing to the CRA on or at least 2 months prior to the meeting. Once a notice of cancellation has been accepted, 50% of the exhibit rate is non‐refundable. No refunds will be given for cancellations received less than 2 months prior to the meeting. Notice of cancellation of exhibit space must be submitted in writing to the CRA by email (  Allow for 2-4 weeks after the meeting for refunds to be processed.
  4. Industry Activities
    1. Full day industry-sponsored activities in Canada (educational and/or business), such as conferences, meetings and ad boards with or targeting Canadian Rheumatologists, will not be permitted within one week prior to or after the annual CRA meeting (one week before the Wednesday start and one week after the Saturday end inclusive). Furthermore, no such industry activity (educational and/or business) can be conducted during the CRA ASM.
    2. Industry Advisory Boards – Diamond and Platinum level Corporate Sponsors may apply to hold an Industry Advisory Board meeting after an in-person ASM to begin at a time designated by the CRA (after the completion of the CRA ASM) and not earlier. These meetings will include no more than 20 participants, including MDs, sponsors and others and must be authorized by the CRA. Any Canadian Rheumatologist attending these Ad Board meetings must have registered for the CRA conference.
    3. For in-person ASMs, the CRA will pre-designate the evening(s) available for industry to interact with members for social promotion.
    4. Complimentary tickets for the Welcome Reception (if applicable) and CRA Gala Dinner (in-person ASM only) are supplied to industry based on sponsorship level.   Tickets that will not be used should be returned to the registration desk.
    5. No competing activities (such as small meetings, dinners, etc.) can be held during the CRA Gala Dinner, Welcome Reception, AGM or during the scientific sessions.
  5. Industry Representatives
    1. Representatives from industry*, whether medical or non-medical, are not allowed to attend the ASM if their company is not a corporate sponsor or exhibitor. Companies who have a product which is not yet on the market, could apply for one (1) Medical Science Liaison (MSL) to attend the ASM at the applicable rate.  This MSL designation will be noted on their name tag.
    2. For corporate sponsors only, up to 2 pharmaceutical employees of the scientific/medical division (not sales, marketing or medical education) may register under Sponsor Rep – scientific/medical division at the applicable rate.  These reps would be in addition to the company’s allocated number of representatives based on corporate sponsorship.
    3. Corporate sponsors may have additional sales, marketing or medical education reps attend the ASM beyond their allowable number based on corporate sponsorship, upon paying the applicable rate under Extra Sponsor Reps – marketing/sales exceeds sponsorship allotment.
    4. Badges must be worn at all times by the registered attendee. Absence of a badge will result in that individual being asked to leave the meeting site. Badges are not transferable and failure to adhere to this guideline will result in forfeiture of the badge.
               *industry includes all for-profit organizations
  6.  Abstracts
    1. The First Author and Presenting Author of an Investigator or Industry-initiated abstracts must be one of the following:
      1.    Non-industry* based;
      2.    A CRA corporate sponsor or exhibitor (must adhere to the Industry Representative restrictions outlined in #5 above).
        *industry includes all for-profit organizations
  7. No media or press conference is authorized during the annual CRA ASM without written consent from the CRA.
  8. The CEO of the CRA will be the primary point of contact for industry for all matters related to industry relations. As such, all requests, questions or suggestions should go through the CEO first.

Unaccredited Satellite Symposia

  1. Content
    1. Subject to approval by our ASM Program committee, the program content must be relevant to rheumatology, provide cutting-edge, evidence-based information, and communicate a balanced and unbiased view of the topic being discussed.  Material must be of educational value for CRA members along with other members of the target audience.  Valid learning objectives/opportunities should be based on needs’ assessment, surveys and other methods of data gathering for contributing to continuing professional development.
  2.  Logistics
    1. Satellite symposia sponsors are solely responsible for the logistics of their symposium including (but not limited to) audio-visual equipment, catering and preparation of promotional materials (posters and invitations).  All logistics must be approved in advance by the CRA.
    2. All honoraria, travel and accommodation costs associated with the faculty are the responsibility of sponsor.
    3. Further to the CMA Guidelines for Physicians in Interactions with Industry, faculty and moderators must complete and sign conflict disclosure forms for all educational activities, even unaccredited satellite symposia.  Speakers are to submit their forms to the ASM Program Committee well in advance of the activity.  Speakers are to disclose any such conflicts in their second slide (this must include the name of the sponsoring company). Speakers will be asked to use generic names for drugs in their presentations, discussions, and enduring material and will inform the audience if any “off label” use will be discussed.
  3.  Advertising
    1. Sponsors are responsible for all program advertising.
    2. All advertising must be pre-approved by the CRA and must:
    3. Be bilingual;
      • NOT contain the “CRA” name or logo or reference the CRA meeting;
      • Be restricted to one (1) promotional poster (24” x 36”) or electronic poster in lobby.  Promotional signs are not permitted inside the meeting room.
  4. Collateral materials
    1. Sponsors interested in developing collateral materials after the conference (i.e. electronic, print, or other forms) based on content from the program must adhere to the policy of not containing the CRA name or logo or refer to the CRA meeting in any way.
    2. All AV filming will be coordinated though the CRA, and must adhere to the following guidelines:
      • No audio or videotaping is permitted without prior consent of the CRA and the speakers.
      • Any audio and/or videotaping MUST be disclosed to the audience prior to the commencement of the session and may only show the symposia speakers, no audience members.
      • No photography/videotaping of the audience.
      • No indication that the presentation was made at the CRA meeting or any mention of the CRA.
      • If any close-ups are filmed of the speaker, the CRA nametag must be obscured.
      • Sponsor pays all costs associated with videotaping and final production.
      • Requests for filming of symposium must follow CME guidelines.
      • The content of the symposium will remain the property of the Industry Symposium sponsor, with unrestricted use available to CRA.
  5. Bilingualism
    1. All program advertising and signage must be bilingual; however, presentations do not have to be bilingual.
  6. Evaluation of programs
    1. Sponsors will be provided with a standardized evaluation form that must be completed within the symposium timeslot and results will be provided to the Evaluations will be reviewed by the ASM Program Committee and bias noted in the symposia presentations will result in a one-year ban from submitting another symposium application. The parameters used to judge bias will be communicated to the symposium sponsors prior to the meeting. The bias measurements will be sent to the sponsor.

Annual Meeting – Disputes & Complaints

  1. If a concern or problem arises, it should be reported to the CEO who will manage the complaint (if needed, it may involve the CRA Vice President, as the Industry Liaison).  If the dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, it will be brought to the CRA Board for discussion and final decision.
  2. The CRA Board reserves the right to:
    1. Ask company representative(s) to leave the meeting without any reimbursement in case of misconduct or non-adherence to the CRA and aforementioned guidelines and principles.
    2. Prohibit a company from participating in future CRA meetings if there is lack of respect to the letter and to the spirit of the guidelines governing the CRA/ Industry partnership.
    3. Communicate these decisions to all CRA members, medical associations partnering with CRA, as well as to the Innovative Medicines Canada office.

Review of Guidelines

These principles and guidelines will be reviewed annually at the Industry Council meeting and amended or modified as required.