Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell announced June 21 that she has signed a bill allowing doctors to prescribe long-term antibiotics for a patient clinically diagnosed with Lyme disease without fear of sanction by state health regulators.
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (www.ILADS.org) applauded the Connecticut legislature for unanimously passing the bill, and the governor for signing a bill that will protect physicians who treat Lyme disease.
“The fact is that infection with the bacterium that causes acute Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, may also cause a chronic, complex, and often life altering disease that can be highly difficult to diagnose. Reliable diagnostic tests are not yet available,” says Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH, president of ILADS. “Chronic Lyme disease patients may face a long hard fight to wellness.”
The bill addresses acute and chronic presentations of Lyme disease and includes a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease as determined by a physician “…that is based on knowledge obtained through the medical history and physical examination alone, or in conjunction with the testing that provides supportive data for such clinical diagnosis.”
"Despite all the progress in raising public awareness of Lyme disease since its discovery in the state of Connecticut in the 1970s, the numbers and complexity of Lyme disease continue to grow. The bill offers hope that more physicians knowledgeable about Lyme disease will be encouraged to practice within the State of Connecticut.”
“One of the burdens of Lyme disease, finding treatment, will be lifted from their shoulders, as this law offers hope to residents that more physicians who are knowledgeable about Lyme disease will be encouraged to practice within the State of Connecticut," according to Maggie Shaw, Newtown Lyme Disease Task Force, a patient leader in the Connecticut effort.
ILADS is a nonprofit, international, multidisciplinary medical society, dedicated to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Lyme and its associated diseases. ILADS promotes understanding of tick-borne diseases through research and education and strongly supports physicians and other health care professionals dedicated to advancing the standard of care for Lyme and its associated diseases.
Source: ILADS news release, June 22, 2009