We need to get federal bill H.R. 789 passed through Congress, so that there is the creation of an independent scientific committee which will objectively look at the science regarding the insensitivity of diagnostic Lyme testing, while reviewing the peer reviewed science showing persistence of borrelia and associated co-infections.

Feature Competing Interests Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: protecting the private good? BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2362 (Published 15 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2362 Article Related content Metrics Responses Peer review Jeanne Lenzer, associate editor,…
bmj.com


from Dr. Richard Horowitz


This scientific article by Jeanne Lenzer, associate editor of The BMJ, USA, discusses potential conflicts of interest that exist within the CDC, and how these conflicts may affect their recommendations. After revelations that the CDC is receiving some funding from industry, Jeanne Lenzer investigates how it might have affected the organization's decisions.
“The CDC does receive millions of dollars in industry gifts and funding, both directly and indirectly, and several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking.... funding of CDC took a turn in 1983, when the CDC was authorized to accept external “gifts” from industry and other private parties".
These conflicts of interest were not widely disseminated until now. How was this information received by medical leaders? "Industry funding of the CDC has taken many doctors, even some who worked for CDC, by surprise. Philip Lederer, an infectious diseases fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and a former CDC epidemic intelligence service officer, told The BMJ he was “saddened” to learn of industry funding".
Professional reactions to the news include Neil Calman, president and chief executive of the Institute for Family Health in New York, a large community health center network with over half a million patient visits a year. He said "The institute has relied on CDC guidance largely because of its prestige as an independent agency, free of industry relationships". Calman told The BMJ, “Industry funding undermines trust and introduces a bias in the presentation of results and treatment recommendations that is deplorable for a government agency. If the allegations of industry funding and influence are true, we will have to look very carefully at recommendations we are following now and those made in the future by the CDC.” Calman said, “Industry claims their scientific methodology ensures their studies are unbiased—just as the CDC claims money doesn’t affect their recommendations. Yet multiple studies clearly—and repeatedly—show that who sponsors a study, or issues a guideline, makes a difference.”
We certainly have seen this problem exist in guideline development with regards to Lyme and associated tick-borne disorders. We need to get federal bill H.R. 789 passed through Congress, so that there is the creation of an independent scientific committee which will objectively look at the science regarding the insensitivity of diagnostic Lyme testing, while reviewing the peer reviewed science showing persistence of borrelia and associated co-infections. Expanded insurance coverage may then be available for those suffering from undiagnosed and/or inadequately treated tick-borne disorders.
http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2362