OCRA Industry Policy

Background and Purpose

The mission of the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) is to find a cure and improve the lives of those affected by ovarian cancer.  As the largest, professionally led, non-profit organization serving ovarian cancer patients and their loved ones worldwide, OCRA funds medical research and delivers a comprehensive menu of educational and support programs for people affected by ovarian cancer.

To ensure that such programs and services are available to those in need, OCRA often partners with industry/pharmaceutical companies through sponsorships of special events, programs, research studies and educational initiatives. OCRA seeks industry partners who share its commitment to patients and their families. By partnering with industry, OCRA seeks to enhance its ability to meet its mission and strategic objectives. Engagement by OCRA with industry partners will be at the sole direction of OCRA leadership, in compliance with the tenets of this policy, and will be guided by the overall values of the organization.

To avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof, OCRA has developed the following policy to guide and clearly define such organizational relationships.

Policy Scope

This policy focuses on mission-related companies that serve the interests of our community — those companies within the medical products industry (“Industry”), including those that develop drugs, biologics, diagnostics, data, and devices aimed at providing better therapeutic options and improved quality of life for our constituents.  

This policy shall govern related activities at all levels and by all who represent OCRA, including board members, staff, and volunteers.

Collaboration Evaluation Criteria

OCRA will, in its sole discretion, evaluate and execute potential industry collaborations according to a set of criteria that reflects its overall mission, focus on the needs of the ovarian cancer patient community, and the organization’s values and priorities.

These criteria include:

  • Ability to clearly define the collaboration’s consistency with and contribution to advancing OCRA’s mission.
    • Clear understanding among all parties about how OCRA will retain its independence & control within the collaboration.
    • Complete compliance with OCRA’s conflict of interest policies as defined in this policy (see below).
    • Maintenance of financial and in-kind support from a broad range of supporters, including individuals, foundations, and companies, including industry. OCRA will strive to maintain balance of diverse supporters and within the above-mentioned categories.
  • Execution of a clear, detailed, written agreement among the parties.
    • Compliance with well-defined operating procedures within OCRA for review, approval, and ongoing evaluation of each collaboration (as well as preservation of the organization’s ability to terminate any collaboration).
    • Full transparency about the terms and activities of each collaboration. 

Program Independence and Control

OCRA will explore collaboration opportunities with industry partners across all programs, including outreach, education, and awareness efforts; research and clinical development programs; advocacy and public policy initiatives; and events. OCRA retains full independence to evaluate content and direct control over any collaborative activities conducted/presented under the OCRA name or logo, specifically:

  • OCRA maintains total independence and has ultimate authority over program design, development, content, speaker selection and/or policy positions.
  • OCRA does not endorse any company, medical product, treatment protocol or medical service (nor, in any event, does it provide treatment or other medical advice to patients).
  • OCRA will not conduct any activity that promotes any company, medical product or service. OCRA may, however, acknowledge a company’s support of a program through name and logo recognition.
  • OCRA does not link from its website to any product-specific pages.
  • Every effort will be made to ensure that all programs and information presented in written or online materials will be presented in a fair and balanced manner.
  • Corporate partners wishing to use the OCRA name, insignia, or logo in public relations, marketing or promotional materials or activities, must first seek the prior written approval by OCRA.
  • OCRA will not, under any circumstances, accept contributions from corporations that are contingent upon any public policy position and/or public policy activity; OCRA maintains total independence and ultimate authority over its policy-making activities without regard to any corporate partnership.
  • OCRA reserves the right to sever any corporate partnership with, and return contributions from, any entity that participates in public policy activities that OCRA finds offensive or that are in significant conflict with OCRA’s policies or positions.
  • OCRA reserves the right to approve the participation of third parties that may be recommended by its corporate partners for involvement in any program, project or event.
  • OCRA does not sell or otherwise provide its mailing list to any corporate partners.
  • Materials, programs, and data developed, created, or collected by OCRA are the sole property of OCRA; they must carry the OCRA copyright or trademark, and as such, cannot be changed, modified, or duplicated without prior written permission from OCRA.

Conflict of Interest
OCRA will evaluate all potential engagements with industry to determine its consistency with OCRA’s Conflict of Interest policy, including the following:

  • OCRA will assess, seek to avoid, and responsibly manage, all conflicts and the appearance of conflicts in all potential engagements.
  • OCRA will not engage with companies whose policies, practices or actions conflict with the organization’s mission.
  • Any industry engagement (including participation in events, acceptance of donations, or collaborative activities) undertaken by individuals on behalf of OCRA in support of OCRA’s mission will be: 
    • Evaluated according to well-defined operating procedures
    • Clearly documented
    • Transparent 
    • Fully consistent with existing OCRA Conflict of Interest policies
  • OCRA will conduct due diligence to prevent situations of actual or perceived financial or other personal benefit to any OCRA employees, trustees and officers stemming from any industry collaboration, and are bound by a separate OCRA Conflict of Interest policy.
  • OCRA will maintain safeguards and transparent policies to ensure that funding support from industry for OCRA programs does not influence the accuracy, scientific credibility, and objectivity of information provided to the public or any constituency by the organization.
  • In the event any such activity ultimately fails to meet these requirements, the activity will be terminated immediately by OCRA.

Income Balance and Fundraising Guidelines

In pursuit of its mission, OCRA generates financial and in-kind support from a broad range of supporters, including individuals, foundations, and companies, including industry. OCRA will strive to maintain balance both among various categories of supporters and within those categories.

In developing collaborations with industry partners focused on specific program areas, OCRA may offer well-defined benefits – such as public recognition, input on joint projects, attendance at OCRA events etc. — in consideration of financial support and sponsorships. As a general practice, OCRA will work to develop productive relationships with industry partners that move beyond transactional exchanges and focus on working collaboratively on programs and initiatives that advance the mission of OCRA.

Operating Procedures 

OCRA will review and prioritize requests for engagement with industry partners based on alignment with its mission, and the potential for any engagement to advance its strategic objectives.  

OCRA may offer benefits to certain industry partners based on their engagement as members in an Industry Council or other OCRA efforts.

All significant potential industry relationships will be assessed by OCRA leadership and formalized through written agreements that are in line with this policy. They will clearly state the scope of the collaboration, its governance, and any financial terms.  

OCRA’s Board of Directors reserves the right to amend this policy at will and without prior notice. The granting of financial support to OCRA signifies agreement with all terms of this policy.