Institute of Medicine Review of Lyme

On Thursday April 29, 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convened a "pre meeting" to their proposed October 2010 workshop meeting that is supposed to address the state of the science in Lyme disease. The meeting was generated by passage of the 2010 appropriations language by Congress which included the words "chronic Lyme disease" and "persistence infection" in the report language. According to the Appropriations language (see the LDA Governement section) NIH was supposed to hold a state of the science conference, but instead, it contracted out its obligation to IOM. Lyme advocates were concerned by lack of process transparency and also by the fact that the IOM panel was biased, with many of the members being IDSA members or fellows and other panel members having held positions in the CDC. No treating physicians or patient reps were on the Panel. LDA, CALDA and Time for Lyme (TFL) wrote to the IOM Committee and to NIH and raised documented objections to the process and panel member selection. IOM did not reply.  NIH wrote a short letter saying the IOM review was fine, but it did not address any of the objections raised by the three organizations.
At the pre meeting in April, invited government representatives presented to the panel lengthy reports on prevention projects and touched on epidemiology. None addressed diagnosis and treatment or chronic Lyme. One presenter was video teleconferenced in from England and she presented some data related to that issue. In the afternoon, members of the public who signed up had 5 minutes to address the Committee, although that was selectively enforced.  LDA president Pat Smith addressed to the IOM panel the concerns of Lyme advocates relating to transparency of the IOM process and that it does not preclude bias as a factor in the panel selection. Additionally, the process allows undisclosed reviewers to provide input in the final report from the October panel.

LDA, CALDA, TFL also submitted suggestions for speakers at the October panel.  Lyme advocates are very concerned since the IDSA had requested an Institute of Medicine review when they lobbied against the Lyme bills (HR 1179/S1352) currently in Congress. 

Click here for LDA testimony

Click here for Link to entire IOM premeeting