IDSA Dismissed from Lawsuit
Judge Rules Lawsuit Against IDSA Baseless
In legal rulings issued on Sept. 1 and Sept. 20, a federal judge in Texas dismissed all claims a group of Lyme disease patients had brought against the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
In November 2017, a group of Lyme disease patients sued IDSA, individual doctors who wrote IDSA’s clinical guidelines on Lyme disease, and major national and regional health plans, alleging a conspiracy between IDSA and the health plans regarding the methodology and contents of IDSA’s Lyme disease guidelines. On Sept. 1, the judge found plaintiffs had produced no evidence to support their conspiracy claims.
In January 2021, plaintiffs had added new fraud claims against IDSA, alleging that IDSA’s Lyme disease guidelines contain false representations regarding Lyme disease testing and treatment. On Sept. 20, the judge dismissed plaintiffs’ fraud claims, holding that IDSA’s guidelines set forth explanations of medical research knowledge based on citations to other published studies and clinical trials – not naked assertions of fact – and make clear that adherence to the guidelines is voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in light of each patient’s individual circumstances.
“We’re pleased that the judge recognized that the claims made in the lawsuit had no basis in fact. We take our responsibility of developing scientifically based guidelines and our commitment to the care of patients very seriously. Never have the dangers of unproven medical treatment been clearer than during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This decision is a victory for patients and for science,” said IDSA President Daniel P. McQuillen, MD, FIDSA.
IDSA’s Lyme disease guidelines are developed with patient safety and well-being as a priority, are based on a systematic review of available scientific evidence, and help clinicians determine treatments that are best for each patient. The guidelines were first written in 2000, updated in 2006, and re-issued in 2020 by a multidisciplinary panel of experts led by IDSA, the American Academy of Neurology and the American College of Rheumatology.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is a community of over 12,000 physicians, scientists, and public health experts who specialize in infectious diseases. Its purpose is to improve the health of individuals, communities, and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health, and prevention relating to infectious diseases. Learn more at https://www.idsociety.org/.