LYMEPOLICYWONK: Institute of Medicine Cuts on the Bias for IDSA
Finally, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) came out with its agenda for their “State of the Science Hearing”after much hemming and hawing. Patient groups (including CALDA) who asked for transparency in the study process received a mere “no comment” response. Well, we never got transparency, and we only got the agenda after it was finalized and released to the public. So, here’s the score: its 3 for 3 in the ‘Final Inning’ in favor of the IDSA.
Four of the 6 IOM panel members are IDSA members.
10 of the 14 physician speakers were authors on the IDSA guidelines or the copycat guidelines issued by members of the IDSA panel or members of the IDSA.
Zero ILADS physicians have been chosen to speak. Let me repeat: ZERO, zip, nada, not a single ILADS physician was chosen to speak!
Dr. Gary Wormser, poster boy of the Connecticut IDSA antitrust investigation, is kicking off the game.
Oh, there’s window dressing to be sure. A personalized tour of the Agenda after the great leap forward. . .
Let’s look at the agenda in terms of the key topic areas—those where each speaker gets 25 uninterrupted minutes to record their position on a subject.
- State of the Science for treatment in Lyme disease: Dr. Wormser, past-chair of the IDSA guidelines panel, is one of the key Lyme researchers with a vested reputational interest in his research. In a kick-off and frame-the-issue time slot– he’s first up. No opposing viewpoint will be presented. (How’s that for balance?)
- Diagnostic issues: Dr. Maria Aguero-Rosenfeld, IDSA guidelines author who, until recently, worked with Dr. Wormser at NYMC, AND has well established polemic views. No opposing viewpoint will be presented. (Now I’m getting uncomfortable for sure.)
Ten of the speakers are past-authors of the IDSA guidelines (or copycat guidelines) or are current members of the IDSA. [By way of background, the Connecticut Attorney General found that the guidelines of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) were essentially copycat guidelines of the IDSA put out with panel members from the IDSA guidelines with the intent of creating an appearance of “independent corroboration” of the IDSA guidelines. Since then similar overlapping guidelines have been developed, including those published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Another bread crumb for the detail oriented, IDSA fellow hold a higher ranking within the IDSA than other members.] Here is the detail:
- Dr. Gary Wormser (IDSA fellow and panel member of guidelines by: IDSA, NEJM, and AAN
- Dr. Peter Krause (IDSA fellow and panel member of guidelines by: IDSA, NEJM ad hoc international working group)
- Dr. Stephen Dumler (Panel member of guidelines by: IDSA, NEJM ad hoc international working group)
- Dr. David Weber (IDSA fellow)
- Dr. David Walker (IDSA fellow)
- Dr. Maria Aguero-Rosenfeld (panel member of IDSA guidelines)
- Dr. Richard Jacobs (IDSA fellow)
- Dr. Linda Bockenstedt (panel member of following guidelines: IDSA panel, NEJM ad hoc international Lyme disease working group)
- Paul Mead (member of the NEJM ad hoc international Lyme disease working group)
- Dr. Susan O’Connell (member of NEJM ad hoc international Lyme disease working group)
These people who have an established viewpoint biased toward the IDSA constitute 10 of the 14 physician speakers. The remainder of the speakers consists of patients, vets, ecologists, pathologists and epidemiologists.
Contact Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.