A doctors group is reviewing guidelines that cast doubt on treatments for long-term Lyme disease.
Patients say they need long-term antibiotics. But guidelines of
the Infectious Diseases Society of America say there's no evidence
that the treatments can cure the disease, or that the long-term
condition, chronic Lyme disease, even exists.
Insurance companies cite those guidelines when they refuse to
The disease was discovered in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. It can
be hard to diagnose with its vague, flu-like symptoms. Its
trademark is a round red rash. Usually, it's easily cured with a
few weeks of antibiotics. Those not promptly treated can develop
arthritis, meningitis and other serious illnesses.
Connecticut authorities pressed the case for the patients,
arguing that the panel violated anti-trust law by excluding some
evidence that may support patient claims.