VI. Purchasing Decisions

Mount Sinai faculty and staff involved in decisions regarding the purchase of equipment or supplies - including individuals who serve on formulary committees - must submit an annual conflict of interest disclosure form identifying any financial interests that they have with vendors or potential vendors. Anyone with a conflict of interest may not participate in discussions and decisions on:

  • Purchases from a company in which they have a financial interest
  • Purchase of products of a competitor of the company in which they have a financial interest

Occasionally, vendors offer an incentive if a buyer agrees to purchase the company's goods or services. Personal incentives, e.g., merchandise, tickets to special events, vacation trips, etc. are considered gifts as described in Section II of this policy and cannot be accepted under any circumstances.

A vendor may offer the Hospital, School or an individual department a discount on the purchase price of a product or service. The Purchasing Department will only consider any discount as a factor in the initial formal purchasing/bidding process.

Vendor representatives from pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other industries may visit healthcare providers or researchers to talk about and demonstrate their new products. While generally acceptable as straightforward sales visits, an appointment is always required; representatives are not permitted on campus on a drop-in basis. Visits to health care providers must comply with Mount Sinai's policy on Medical Sales Representatives.

Sales representatives may not access any patient-specific information. They are not permitted in patient care areas unless they have: 1) completed all badging requirements as a Patient Care Area Vendor in the Mount Sinai Health System Vendormate System, including immunization requirements; and 2) been specifically requested by the Department to assist with a particular case, or have been issued a written appointment by the Department.

Refreshments and gifts from vendors, however modest, are prohibited during visits by representatives as described in Section II and Section III of this policy.

Scheduled appointments are required for vendor visits to train physicians, researchers or others in device use or new technologies.

Updated October 2015

Vendors may offer to place a new device or piece of equipment on-campus on a trial basis. Such arrangements require Finance Department approval of a no-charge Purchase Order that describes the item and the timeframe for evaluation. The vendor will be expected to deliver and retrieve the item within the designated time period.

Site visits to observe vendor products and/or services are sometimes an appropriate part of a purchasing decision. When such visits are necessary, they must be approved by the department head. Vendor offers to pay for site visits cannot be accepted because these offers may be designed to influence a purchasing decision or the institution's relationship with other vendors; the cost of the trip should be paid with departmental funds.

The Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee policy manual includes standards and procedures for introducing new agents to the formulary. All requests to the committee for the addition of a drug, vaccine or other biological agent require that the requestor complete and submit a conflict of interest disclosure form.