The bill that was signed by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell is supposed to make it easier for chronic Lyme patients to get the proper treatment which they have been denied in the past. Hopefully this Bill will accomplish that...however, without the proper education doctors may still refuse to acknowledge chronic lyme disease. Before I become too jubilant...I am going to wait and see if the climate surrounding the treatment of chronic lyme disease really changes for the better.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Donna Tommelleo, 860-884-8472
June 21, 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Rell Signs Bill That Shields
Doctors in Treatment of Lyme Disease
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced 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.”
The disease gets its name from the shoreline town of Lyme, Connecticut, where in 1975 a cluster of children and adults there experienced uncommon arthritic symptoms Caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease is spread through the bite of infected deer ticks. Symptoms include a rash, fatigue, headache, fever, and achy muscles and joints. Later symptoms may include arthritis, neurological problems, and heart problems.
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.”