By JENNIFER KEEFE, Friday, June 17, 2011:
DOVER — New Hampshire residents suffering from chronic Lyme disease will no longer have to worry about finding a doctor who will treat with long-term antibiotics.
A bill, HB 295, that states doctors are free to treat Lyme disease with long-term antibiotics and cannot be punished by the Board of Medicine because of such prescriptions was passed Thursday.
The bill's prime sponsor Gary Daniels, R-Milford, said the bill is an important step in helping both patients and doctors as it acknowledges chronic Lyme disease is a real ailment.
The text of the bill reads, "No licensee may be subject to disciplinary action solely for prescribing, administering, or dispensing long-term antibiotic therapy for a patient clinically diagnosed with Lyme disease, if diagnosis and treatment has been documented and monitored in the physician's medical record for that patient."
Daniels said Thursday, "The problem we were encountering, and it seems to be a nationwide trend, is there are two standards for treatment and there seems to be favoritism over one standard that basically says there's no such thing as chronic Lyme disease."
He added that typically, if people have Lyme disease for longer than the four week average associated with the disease, they're instead treated for other diseases such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
"There can be such a thing as chronic Lyme disease and it can be treatable with long-term antibiotics," Daniels said. Read more>>