Lyme Advocates Instrumental in Passage
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the FY11 Budget which contained language on doctor protection for Lyme disease treating physicians. The law permits doctors to clinically diagnose and treat patients long term. The state medical board cannot bring charges against a doctor solely for prescribing long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease. Massachusetts advocates worked hard to raise awareness among public officials and the general public. Their stories were a tremendous help in moving this bill to passage.
This photo was taken at the Boston State House on June 30, 2010, shortly after Governor Duval Patrick signed the 2011 MA state budget.
From left to right: Back row: Susan Fairbank-Pitzer, Donna Castle (advocates), Rep. Robert Hargraves (Groton). Front row: Robin LeMieux (advocate), Dr. Jacqueline Luz-Ruiz, Governor Duval Patrick, Dr. Sheila Statlender, Jayme Kulesz (advocate)
Bill Number: HB 1148 (Hargraves)
To allow physicians to prescribe, administer or dispense long-term antibiotics for therapeutic purposes to patients clinically diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Referred to the HOUSE RULES (06/03/2009);
Reported, referred to the JOINT RULES, reported, rules and suspended and referred to the JOINT COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH (06/22/2009);
Senate Concurred (06/24/2009);
Reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Health (02/09/2010)
Bill was amended (not wanted by advocates) but original version was then appended to budget and passed by both houses. Governor signed into law on June 30, 2010.