State official subpoenas infectious disease group

Connecticut's attorney general probes whether the professional society?s Lyme disease guidelines violate antitrust laws

Susan Warner
Feb 6, 2007
Connecticut's attorney general has launched an antitrust investigation into The Infectious Disease Society of America's new guidelines for the treatment of Lyme disease, an unprecedented move that raises questions about the government's role in scientific consensus. Attorney general Richard Blumenthal has subpoenaed IDSA records on grounds that the guidelines, which do not recognize a chronic form of Lyme disease, are anticompetitive. If doctors refuse to diagnose patients with chronic Lyme, Blumenthal contends, patients will have limited access to treatment and insurance reimbursement, a potential violation of state antitrust laws.The attorney general's decision to weigh in on medical consensus has ruffled a few feathers. "We're complying with the subpoena, but we're unhappy to see this kind of political interference with what are very normal and routine guidelines," Martin Blaser, chairman of the department of medicine at NYU Medical Center and president of the IDSA when the guidelines were published...