Almost a decade ago, Lyme advocates in Minnesota, pursuing Lyme doctor protection legislation, settled for a compromise from the State Medical Board which issued a Moratorium taking action against doctors who treat long term. The Moratorium was reviewed and extended in 2014, while awaiting more research on the topic.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, this week the Board decided to reinstate sanctions on doctors who choose to treat long term.
Lyme Disease Association president, Pat Smith addressed the reinstatement: “This is a decision that is a blow for Lyme patients in Minnesota and the Lyme community at large. It exemplifies the fact that opposition to recognizing chronic Lyme and the treatment often necessary for its victims is alive and well. We have looked to the government for answers, but although it has begun to be more cooperative with patient advocates and treating physicians, it has still not acknowledged the problem of chronic Lyme disease, despite 427,000 cases of Lyme in the US in 2017. Statistics indicate 15-20% or more of Lyme patients may develop chronic disease. The lack of government acknowledgement has enabled the Infectious Diseases Society guidelines to prevent those with chronic Lyme from receiving necessary treatment, since doctors who use clinical judgement and treat out side ‘guidelines,’ may find themselves being sanctioned, as has happened throughout the US in the past. “