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Antitrust probe spurs disease review

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has agreed to reassess controversial treatment guidelines for Lyme disease after an unprecedented antitrust investigation was launched against the group last year, according to the linkurl:Wall Street Journal Health Blog.;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/05/01/guidelines-for-lyme-disease-treatment-go-back-for-review/?mod=WSJBlog Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal linkurl:launched the investigation;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/d

By | May 2, 2008

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has agreed to reassess controversial treatment guidelines for Lyme disease after an unprecedented antitrust investigation was launched against the group last year, according to the linkurl:Wall Street Journal Health Blog.;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/05/01/guidelines-for-lyme-disease-treatment-go-back-for-review/?mod=WSJBlog Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal linkurl:launched the investigation;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/49605/ into the IDSA's 2006 guidelines on treating a severe form of the disease known as chronic Lyme disease, or CLD. Those guidelines recommended against long-term antibiotic treatment, because the group doesn't recognize the chronic form of the disease. But some physicians say the tick-borne bacteria can linger in the bloodstream for years, and requires linkurl:antibiotic;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53555/ treatment for six months or longer. Announcing the results of the investigation in Hartford yesterday (May 1), Blumenthal said that some IDSA members who wrote the guidelines had financial stakes in companies that develop linkurl:Lyme disease;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/18922/ tests and treatments, according to the linkurl:Hartford Courant.;http://www.courant.com/news/health/hc-ctlyme0502.artmay02,0,5245299.story The IDSA has now agreed to form a new panel to determine whether the 2006 guidelines should be revised. In a linkurl:statement;http://www.idsociety.org/Content.aspx?id=11182 released yesterday, the IDSA said: "[P]anel members had no financial interests that would have affected, or been affected by, recommendations in the guidelines." In his own linkurl:statement,;http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?a=2795&q=414284 Blumenthal accused IDSA members of "refus[ing] to accept or meaningfully consider information regarding the existence of chronic Lyme disease," and he stated that the guidelines are "commonly applied by insurance companies in restricting coverage for long-term antibiotic treatment."
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