LYMEPOLICYWONK: A Baker’s Dozen?—Or Is it Six of One a Half Dozen of another?
Some of you know Dr. Phil Baker, formerly of the National Institute of Health, currently of the American Lyme Disease Foundation—a group some regard as a front organization for the IDSA. (4 of the 7 ALDF directors were authors of the IDSA guidelines.) You might know that he oversaw the NIH Lyme disease trials. You might know he testified on behalf of the IDSA at the IDSA review panel—7 of the 8 panel members chosen by the IDSA were IDSA members. You might know that he characterizes the findings of that panel as “independent”, that he characterizes patients as vulnerable fools, and their treating physicians as predators. He has a certain viewpoint, it seems. But in his mind, there is no disagreement among gentlemen about science. It is odd for a man of science to refuse to read peer reviewed research to the contrary. In his mind, are there truly only heroes and villains? No real science. Well, then. Dr. Stricker and I rebutted his editorial and for once, it is available on line. I quote a snippet and then give you the link for the response and counter, counter, counter—whatever…
You can read our full letter to the editor here. http://www.fasebj.org/content/24/12/4632.full A snippet to fuel the fire:
“What Baker fails to tell us is that among more than 22,000 peer-reviewed articles about tick-borne diseases, there are literally hundreds that demonstrate persistent B. burgdorferi infection and failure of short-course antibiotic therapy in animal models and humans, as well as a limited number of studies showing the utility of prolonged antibiotic treatment in patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms (3,–,10). Refusal to acknowledge this evidence and failure to provide treatment options to patients are the factors that caught the attention of the Connecticut Attorney General when he brought his antitrust lawsuit against the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) (11). It was not the science that was at issue, as Baker wrongly maintains, but rather the process employed by a powerful medical society that led to a biased and exclusionary view of Lyme disease that ultimately has harmed sick patients (12).”
You can follow additional comments on Lyme policy at www.lymepolicywonk.org. You can contact Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.