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June 24, 2009

Clinical Practice Guideline Development and Antitrust Law

JAMA. 2009;301(24):2548-2550. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.875

To the Editor: The Connecticut attorney general's antitrust investigation and settlement with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) regarding its development of clinical practice guidelines for Lyme disease offers important guidance for strengthening the integrity of clinical practice guideline development and preserving clinical discretion. I believe that in their Commentary, Mr Kraemer and Mr Gostin1 mischaracterized fact and misread the relevant law in criticizing the attorney general's intervention as political and purporting to defend the supposed positive, scientific character of clinical practice guidelines against the imposition of normative goals. Contrary to their argument, the attorney general's intervention can in fact advance evidence-based medicine.