A lively discussion at Salem, New Hampshire's Kelley Library on Thursday, October 17th, led to, among many other things, legislation.
David Hunter, Chair of the Bedford Lyme Disease Council, noted the 2011 passage of a bill to protect Lyme Literate Medical Doctors (LLMD) in the state from sanctions for operating outside the mandates and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Medical Association (AMA) and its local New Hampshire Medical Association (NHMA), the Infectious Disease Society (IDSA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In so doing, our state joined a handful of others that have protected our LLMDs, which in turn has helped many patients get vital treatment for Chronic Lyme--a disease the CDC, AMA, NHMA, IDSA, and NIH still refuse to admit exists.
A more recent New Hampshire legislative action, HB 490, put forth in 2019, calls for "...establishing a commission to study the role of clinical diagnosis and the limitations of serological diagnostic tests in determining the presence or absence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and available treatment protocols, and appropriate methods for educating physicians and the public about the inconclusive nature of prevailing test methods and available treatment alternatives."
Such a commission would include Representatives, a Senator, an AMA member who is also a member of IDSA, an LLMD certified by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), chronic Lyme patients, the state's epidemiologist (or designee), and more.
This broad committee would be free to discuss the reality facing thousands of Granite Staters who have suffered--or will in the future suffer--from tick bites that often lead to debilitating and confounding symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
While HB 490 passed the House, it stalled in the Senate. It is currently with the Senate's Health and Human Services Committee after having been tabled for the summer in the April 18, 2019 Senate session. No posting yet on when HB 490 will be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. If you are curious or want to let your senator know your preference for the bill's adoption, contact him or her, and perhaps reach out to the entire committee as well.