This just in:
CALL TO ACTION 2009
from Pat Smith, President, Lyme Disease Association
While you are struggling to get diagnosed, treated, reimbursed for your medications and trying to protect your doctors right to clinically diagnose and treat, a medical specialty society is quietly working behind the scenes to eliminate the opportunity for research into your disease—research which could hold the key to your health.
Last week, LDA uncovered a behind the scenes maneuver initiated by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, IDSA− a letter, sent to doctors in specific states, asking them to oppose the Lyme bill, which they describe as one “that would establish a federal advisory panel on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases heavily weighted with patient advocate group representation and with a special seat reserved for a chronic Lyme disease physician.”
In the letter to doctors, the IDSA president said, “the bill's overt support for chronic Lyme disease and other views promoted by Lyme disease activists is troubling. We are concerned about the federal government backing ‘chronic’ Lyme disease when Lyme disease has never been shown to be a chronic infection, and when those patients diagnosed with this dubious condition are frequently treated with long-term antibiotic therapy, exposing them to significant risks for questionable benefits. Our mission is to promote public health and good patient care, and we are concerned that this bill would do neither.”
To defeat the bill and the research monies, IDSA asked doctors to sign onto a letter to Congress that states, in part, “we are alarmed at the references to ‘chronic’ Lyme disease.” It stated some study patients with a “previous diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease did not have Lyme disease at all, but actually had something else, such as rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, or depression—conditions that need treatment with something other than antibiotics.” IDSA “urge[s]” our Congressman to, “oppose it and to not cosponsor the bill.”
IDSA is trying to silence treating physician and patient voices in DC. It does not want research which can help you be accurately diagnosed and treated, but continues to promote the “not Lyme” diagnosis, which means no antibiotic treatment for you and your families. We NEED you to CALL your federal representatives this week to combat this assault. We MUST ensure our representatives are not swayed by the IDSA’s propaganda!
• Click here to determine who your own US House Member is and who both your Senators are.
• Please call all three of your representatives today!
Sample phone blurb asking House Members for bill support: "I am calling to urge the Congressman/woman to co-sponsor HR 1179, the Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Bill. Lyme disease has become an epidemic spreading across the county, we are sick, the tests aren’t accurate, and we need a cure! Patients, and those who treat them, also need a voice in this process. Only you have the power to make that happen. Please sign on to co-sponsor HR 1179 today. Thank you. " (Give your name, address, phone number)
Sample phone blurb asking Senate Members for bill support: "I am calling to urge the Senator to co-sponsor the Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Bill when it is introduced by Senator Dodd. Lyme disease has become an epidemic spreading across the county, we are sick, the tests aren’t accurate, and we need a cure! Patients, and those who treat them, also need a voice in this process. Only you have the power to make that happen. Please sign on to co-sponsor the Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Bill when it is introduced. Thank you." (Give your name, address, phone number)
For more information, go to the Lyme Disease Association site and click on "legislation" on the top menu.