Advocates Accuse CDC of Bias and Favoritism CDC promotes outdated IDSA guidelines while ignoring new ILADS Lyme disease guidelines

By Debra McGregor

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) promotes a single, outdated set of treatment guidelines for Lyme and tick-borne diseases in this country.

Q: Why does CDC only link to one set of treatment guidelines?
A: CDC believes that the IDSA guidelines currently represent the best available synthesis of the medical literature on the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. The IDSA with input from CDC experts and other doctors has developed and published Lyme disease treatment guidelines. Please note that the CDC does not produce Lyme disease treatment guidelines.

H undreds of thousands of Americans have been treated for Lyme and tick-borne diseases utilizing the 2006 Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) treatment guideline protocols recommended on the CDC website. Unfortunately, a substantial number of these cases result in treatment failure, often with very serious consequences.

The CDC lends legitimacy to the fact that patients’ insurance plans rely heavily on the IDSA guidelines to determine coverage and/or the denial of it.

These 2006 IDSA guidelines:

  • Are 10 years old, hence miss hundreds of published research articles
  • Do not comply with current IOM standards
  • Do not use GRADE process
  • Were written by authors who have known conflicts of interest
  • Do not meet National Guideline Clearing House (NGC) standards for being listed on the NGC website (although they are listed)
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