Editor’s Note: This contribution from Christopher R. Seymour, Executive Director of the National Lipid Association, is a response to Larry Husten’s October 13 blog post titled “National Lipid Association Expert Panel Has Many Deep Ties to Industry.”
On behalf of the National Lipid Association (NLA), I want to address your inquiry regarding the paper titled “Clinical Utility of Inflammatory Markers and Advanced Lipoprotein Testing: Advice from an Expert Panel of Lipid Specialists.”
To begin, this paper is not a guideline. Rather, it is a statement to the NLA membership. Our goal was to inform our membership when and how to best apply the tests in certain clinical scenarios to achieve the best outcomes for patients.
As the preamble to the paper articulates, this paper was written in response to a survey of our membership, in 2010, which clearly delineated our need to address this topic. Each of our contributing authors, through extensive effort, personally researched and drafted his or her assigned portion of the paper.
Next, let me address your comments regarding Biofortis and Provident Clinical Research. Kevin Maki, PhD, has been a member of NLA since 2007. He is a certified Clinical Lipid Specialist and a published author in lipidology. His company, Provident Clinical Research, conducts research and reporting in the area of dyslipidemia and has provided technical writing assistance on other NLA projects. He was selected because of his credentials and understanding of the topic, as well as his ability to manage an extensive project of this nature.
As discussed in the summary paper, the expert panel was assembled, at the direction of the NLA leadership, based on the knowledge and clinical experience among our members in the area of advanced lipoprotein testing and emerging biomarkers. Our goals were to provide the best clinical advice to our members and to assemble a diverse yet representative group of leaders in dyslipidemia who have studied and applied these markers routinely.
The debate — informed by a full complement of research, evidence, and clinical expertise — was extremely lively and candid. The advice paper underwent additional review and was approved by the NLA Board of Directors and regional Board of Directors prior to publication. All conflicts were disclosed and collected in advance of the proceeding, discussed at the opening of the conference as a matter of process, and adjudicated within the parameters of the protocol and the ground rules of the conference.
The Biofortis team included Dr. Maki and Mary Dicklin, PhD. Both attended the meeting in a primarily administrative capacity, facilitated the aggregation of literature and data at the time of the conference, and worked with each lead author to memorialize the discussion. They were an integral part of bringing the extensive discussion together in a very admirable fashion.
With this clarification of our efforts, we welcome comments from your readership.
Christopher R. Seymour, MBA
Executive Director, National Lipid Association