Are Patients Facing Difficulties in Accessing Treatment for Lyme?
MAY 24, 2017 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF
Patricia Smith, President of the Lyme Disease Association, Inc, shares thoughts on the difficulties many patients face in accessing treatment for Lyme disease.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability):
“Patients today—43 years into the disease—I am sad to say, face great difficulty in getting treatment [for Lyme disease]. You have a situation where there are guidelines out there by prestigious medical groups that indicate that [patients] should only get a short course of treatment. That would be nice if you had a ‘cookbook disease’ where you could open to page 87 and it said, ‘take this drug for this length of time and that will cure your disease.’
Quite frankly, Lyme is much more complex than that, and therefore, that puts the onus on the physicians to use their best clinical judgement in order to diagnose a patient. [Although] you can look to the guidelines that are out there, there are other guidelines that say that it is a clinical judgment and physicians should be looking at it that way and [should] make a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms, history, and exposure [to ticks]. Testing should only be used as an adjunct because the testing is really not great for Lyme disease; it is only about 50% accurate.”
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