To preserve the public’s trust and protect the International Hyperhidrosis Society’s strong reputation, the Society has adopted sponsorship guidelines or "principles". These principles reflect the Society’s commitment to the highest standards of organizational integrity. Of course, no statement of principles can prescribe decisions governing every situation. Common sense and good judgment are required in applying ethical principles to organizational realities.
The following principles, guiding the Society’s relationships with third party organizations, were adopted in April 2005.
The principles are based on the premise that in certain circumstances, the Society should participate in arrangements with third parties which (when the principles are met) can further the Society’s core purpose, retain the Society’s independence, avoid conflicts of interest, and guard our professional values.
The principles should serve as a starting point for anyone reviewing or developing the Society’s relationships with outside groups.
The Society’s mission statement should provide guidance for externally funded relationships. Relations that are not motivated by the Society’s mission threaten the Society’s ability to provide representation and leadership in the hyperhidrosis arena.
1. The Society’s mission statement, vision and values must drive the proposed activity. The Society’s vision and values ultimately must determine whether a proposed relationship is appropriate for the Society. The Society should not have relationships with organizations or industries whose principles, policies, or actions obviously conflict with the Society’s vision and values.
2. The relationship must preserve or promote trust in the Society. To be effective, the Society requires the public’s trust. Relationships that undermine the public’s trust in the Society are not acceptable. For example, no relationship should raise questions about the scientific content of the Society’s health information publications, the Society’s advocacy on public health issues, or the truthfulness of public statements.
3. The relationship must maintain the Society’s objectivity with respect to health issues. The Society accepts funds from external organizations only if acceptance does not pose conflict of interest and in no way impacts the objectivity of the Society, its members, activities, programs, or employees. The Society has sole discretion in choosing its sponsors and cooperative education programs.
4. The activity must provide benefit to the public’s health, patient’s care, or physician’s practice. Public education campaigns and programs for Society members are potentially of significant benefit.
5. The relationship must preserve the Society’s control over any projects and products bearing the Society’s name or logo. The Society retains editorial control over any information produced as part of an externally funded arrangement.
When a Society program or publication receives external financial support, the Society must remain in control of its name, logo, and content and must approve all marketing materials to ensure that the message is congruent with the Society’s vision and values. Third parties in a supportive relationship with the Society are not to have editorial control over any materials produced by the Society and are not permitted to preview Society materials prior to their publication.
6. Relationships must not permit or encourage influence by the corporate partner on the Society. A Society corporate relationship must not permit influence by the partner on Society policies, priorities, or actions.
7. Participation in a sponsorship program does not imply the Society’s endorsement of an entity or its policies. Participation in sponsorship of a Society program does not imply Society approval of that third party’s general policies, nor does it imply that the Society will exert any influence to advance the third party’s interests outside the substance of the arrangement itself.
When the Society enters into a sponsorship or other agreement with a party both entities will be required to sign a written agreement indicating that the above principles are understood. The written agreement will also clarify the terms and conditions of any cooperative program. For instance, in the case of sponsorship of a continuing medical education event, the agreement will inform the third party of how many of its representatives may attend the event (two), how those representatives are expected to behave (as spectators rather than as sales representatives), and where and in what manner the representatives may show their presence (usually at a table with a display outside the room or rooms where educational activities are being held). In the case of sponsorship of a published material (such as a brochure), the agreement will inform the sponsor of how it will receive acknowledgement for its support (usually with a brief statement on the back of the material indicating, for example, "This brochure has been made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from XX Corp.").
The International Hyperhidrosis Society values the support it receives from corporate and organization partners to further the Society’s mission through education, advocacy, and public awareness. Such support is vital to the Society’s extensive programs and the continued advancement of the study and treatment of hyperhidrosis. It is our hope that the above principles will help to make such supportive relationships even more valuable and to ensure the public’s trust is well-placed and firmly intact.