Panel to reassess Lyme Disease guidelines

May 2, 2008 at 12:50 AM

HARTFORD, Conn., May 2 (UPI) -- An antitrust investigation revealed serious flaws in the way Lyme disease guidelines were set, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said the influential Infectious Diseases Society of America has agreed to reassess its 2006 Lyme disease guidelines with the help of an outside arbiter. The IDSA guidelines are often used by insurance companies in restricting coverage for long-term antibiotic treatment or other medical care, Blumenthal said Thursday.

"The IDSA's 2006 Lyme disease guideline panel undercut its credibility by allowing individuals with financial interests -- in drug companies, Lyme disease diagnostic tests, patents and consulting arrangements with insurance companies -- to exclude divergent medical evidence and opinion," he said in a statement.

The IDSA's guidelines say Lyme disease can be treated in most cases with a 30-day course of oral antibiotics. Critics said Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose, can persist for years and requires treatment with antibiotics for six months or longer, the Hartford Courant said.

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