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Lyme docs OK'd to treat with long-term antibiotics

Governor signs bill, shielding doctors in treatment of Lyme disease


It's Monday, and I've got good news. Let's all acknowledge this nod of compassion in Lyme disease treatment and send thank you notes in support of this decision made by the governor of Connecticut.

The following is an excerpt of a June 21, 2009 article by Jack Sanders in the Ridgefield Press.com:

Governor M. Jodi Rell said Sunday she has signed a bill allowing doctors to prescribe long-term antibiotics in the treatment of persistent Lyme disease – outside of standard guidelines – without fear of sanctions from state health regulators if the patient’s clinical diagnosis of the tick-borne disease and treatment have been documented by a licensed physician.

“Doctors in Connecticut – the absolute epicenter of Lyme disease – can continue to do what is best for their patients suffering from this complex illness. I think most people know someone who has been infected,” Governor Rell said. “The bill also recognizes that Lyme disease patients must have the freedom to choose which remedy or regimen best meets their needs.”

House Bill 6200, which gained broad bipartisan support in the Legislature, was prompted by an ongoing debate in the medical community. Some health organizations have questioned the existence of chronic Lyme disease and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has cautioned against the long-term use of antibiotics. Some physicians were hesitant to treat patients outside the IDSA guidelines because of potential reprimands from medical boards and insurance companies.

“Doctors will have the right to use treatment guidelines based on their clinical experience and best medical judgment,” Governor Rell said. “This bill does not, however, shield any physician who provides substandard care.”
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