Because of the prestige the infectious disease society carries, lyme
activists say insurance companies will now be even more adamant about
refusing coverage beyond 28 days of antibiotics -- something, they say, that
has already begun.
It should come as no surprise that many of the university based researchers
who have long supported such restrictive guidelines, also moonlight as
highly paid insurance consultants and expert witnesses (consulting fees run
several hundred dollars an hour) who testify against
chronic Lyme patients. One has to wonder what role such conflicts of
interest may have played in the development of these new guidelines.
Someone very important DID wonder just that. Connecticut Attorney General,
Richard Blumenthal, has launched an antitrust
investigation against the IDSA last week in order to examine
potential bias and monopolistic practices in the creation of IDSA's
guidelines. Additionally, the International
Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), a medical society
representing doctors and researchers who specialize in chronic Lyme disease
and which has published far more comprehensive guidelines, filed a
written demand that the IDSA retract their guidelines.
Lyme disease patients and activists have also taken action, organizing a protest
for 11am this Thursday (Nov. 30th) outside Westchester Medical Center in
Valhalla, NY, home to lead author of the IDSA Guidelines, Gary Wormser.
At last count, 175 patients and their supporters from all over the US planned
At 7pm, also on Thursday Nov. 30th, there will be a fundraiser and
partial screening of "Under
Our Skin", an in-process documentary that delves into the
devastating effects of chronic Lyme disease as well as the political war being
waged against the doctors who treat them. The fundraiser will be held at the
public library in Wilton, Connecticut. Representatives from the movie's
award winning production company, Open
Eye Pictures, based in CA, are expected to attend.
Details for both events are included below the fold.