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March 2009
Vol. 19 No. 3
Policy and Advocacy
Deadline Extended for Public Input on Lyme Disease Guidelines

IDSA is extending the deadline for public comment on the Society’s 2006 practice guidelines on Lyme disease.

The guidelines recommend a single course of 10-28 days of antibiotics for most patients with Lyme disease, depending on the stage of their illness, with a second course of treatment occasionally being necessary. That recommendation has been criticized by advocates of long-term, intravenous antibiotic use.

Advocates of long-term therapy found an ally in the Connecticut Attorney General, who launched an antitrust investigation of IDSA that ended with no complaint being filed. IDSA is conducting the current review as part of the Society’s voluntary agreement with the attorney general, who questioned IDSA’s process but not its recommendations.

The Society convened a special panel to conduct a comprehensive review of the Lyme-related literature to determine whether the guidelines should be revised or updated. To ensure that all points of view are presented to and considered by the Review Panel, IDSA is soliciting comments from the public.

The deadline for submitting written comments has been extended to 5 p.m. Eastern time on April 24. Interested individuals and organizations may submit comments online. Comments should identify specific recommendations from the 2006 guidelines and evidence that either supports or refutes those recommendations.

An open public hearing, which had been planned for April 27, will be postponed to allow potential presenters more time to prepare and make travel arrangements. Individuals who wish to present at the hearing must submit their applications online by April 24.

“We are absolutely committed to hearing all points of view, so we pushed the dates back to give people more time,” said Carol J. Baker, MD, chair of the Review Panel.

The hearing will be broadcast live and will be archived for viewing on the IDSA website. Additional information, including how to apply to be a presenter, can be found at www.idsociety.org/lymedisease.htm.

For more information, contact lyme@idsociety.org.

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