IDSA Now Accepting Applications For Panel Members For Guidelines Review Panel
The IDSA is now accepting applications from clinicians and scientists for a seat on its new Lyme disease guidelines review panel, which will consist of 8-12 members (including the chair) “who, as a group, reflect a balanced variety of perspectives and experience across a broad range of relevant disciplines, ranging from clinical experience in treating patients with Lyme disease to experience in investigating the best methods to diagnose and treat Lyme disease or other infectious diseases.”
This panel will re-evaluate the recommendations in the 2006 IDSA Lyme disease guidelines to determine whether contested recommendations need to be revised.
In May 2008, the IDSA agreed to re-evaluate its guidelines as part of the settlement agreement for an antitrust investigation by the Attorney General of Connecticut, which found significant conflicts of interest on the original panel, suppression of scientific evidence, and exclusion of panel members with opposing viewpoints. This is the first time a guidelines panel has been forced to re-examine its guidelines under antitrust law.
The IDSA estimates that the time commitment for those serving on the panel will be approximately two to four hours per week or 10 to 15 hours per month for eight to twelve months.
The following must be completed, submitted, and received by October 1, 2008:
- Notarized conflict of interest disclosure form (allow time to have this notarized and mailed!)
- All panel members. The panel will be selected by the chair and the IDSA Standards and Practice Guidelines Committee. The IDSA is required to give “fair consideration to all reasonable applicants.” A prospective panel member cannot have previously served on a Lyme guidelines panel, must be free of conflicts of interest, must be a physician or a researcher, and need not be a member of IDSA. The Chair and members of the Panel must meet the following criteria:
- must be a clinician or scientist
- must not have served on any Lyme guideline panel
- must be free of conflicts of interest as determined by the ombudsman
- must be experienced in the review and interpretation of the medical/scientific literature
- must have knowledge of Lyme disease and/or other infectious diseases as evidenced by:
- clinical experience and/or
- research experience
- The Chair: The chair of the panel is critically important because this person and the IDSA Standards and Practice Guidelines Committee will select the panel members from the pool of applicants. The chair will be selected by the IDSA Standards and Practice Guidelines Committee in an open process—meaning any qualified individual can apply. In addition to the requirements of all panelists, the Chair must meet the following requirements:
- must be trained in infectious diseases
- must be without any beneficial or financial interest related to Lyme disease as determined by the ombudsman
- must have knowledge of Lyme disease but need not be an expert
- must not have previously published a particular viewpoint on Lyme disease
- must have the ability to:
- complete tasks in a timely manner
- consider varying points of view
- bring groups of individuals to consensus
Over a period of 8-12 months, members of the review panel will be expected to participate in several one- to two-hour conference calls and attend at least one, two-day, in-person meeting that will include the public hearing. The IDSA estimates that this and any necessary e-mail exchanges will take 10-15 hours per month or two-four hours per week.