Our location in Connecticut brings us into contact with many patients suffering from Lyme disease. You could say that the disease is nearly epidemic in our region. In my household of two people both have contracted it and both of our dogs have had tick-borne diseases.
Many people are still unaware that Lyme disease has become very controversial in the medical community. The doctors that were involved with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) - the professional body that published the medical guidelines regarding Lyme disease – appeared to have conflicts of interest. You can see what then Attorney General Blumenthal found about the IDSA.
- “The IDSA failed to conduct a conflicts of interest review for any of the panelists prior to their appointment to the 2006 Lyme disease guideline panel;
- Subsequent disclosures demonstrate that several of the 2006 Lyme disease panelists had conflicts of interest;
- The IDSA failed to follow its own procedures for appointing the 2006 panel chairman and members, enabling the chairman, who held a bias regarding the existence of chronic Lyme, to handpick a likeminded panel without scrutiny by or formal approval of the IDSA’s oversight committee;
- The IDSA’s 2000 and 2006 Lyme disease panels refused to accept or meaningfully consider information regarding the existence of chronic Lyme disease, once removing a panelist from the 2000 panel who dissented from the group’s position on chronic Lyme disease to achieve “consensus”;
- The IDSA blocked appointment of scientists and physicians with divergent views on chronic Lyme who sought to serve on the 2006 guidelines panel by informing them that the panel was fully staffed, even though it was later expanded;
- The IDSA portrayed another medical association’s Lyme disease guidelines as corroborating its own when it knew that the two panels shared several authors, including the chairmen of both groups, and were working on guidelines at the same time. In allowing its panelists to serve on both groups at the same time, IDSA violated its own conflicts of interest policy.”
This seemed like good news to people who claimed to have chronic Lyme disease. However the ISDA went on to re-review the guidelines under the Attorney General’s provisions and basically came up with the same recommendations.