Law clears aggressive Lyme disease therapy

Excerpted from the Cap Cod Times ( Posted: 07/17/2010 )

A new state law that spells out the rights of physicians to treat chronic Lyme disease patients with long-term antibiotics is being heralded as a victory by advocates of people afflicted by the tick-borne illness.

The law is meant to prevent doctors who treat patients with antibiotics beyond the 30 days recommended by some professionals from billing insurance, said Brenda Boleyn, who chairs the Cape and Islands Lyme Disease Task Force, a community organization comprised of local government, agencies and Lyme disease patients.

While short courses of antibiotics appear to work when Lyme is detected in its early stages, more aggressive and longer treatment seems to be the only solution for seemingly intractable cases of Lyme, Boleyn said.

Advocates for people with Lyme have accused a physician group, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, of discouraging insurers from paying for aggressive treatment by saying that long-term antibiotic treatment is not proven to be effective and may even be dangerous.

The society’s guidelines say 95 percent of cases of Lyme disease are cured with 10 to 28 days of oral antibiotics.

For the full article: http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100717/NEWS/7170319

 

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~ by Rob on July 17, 2010.

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