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LYME-PAC Requests Public Hearings
    NEW YORK, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- LYME-PAC, a coalition of 12 regional
Lyme patient advocacy groups in New York State, is requesting public hearings
regarding the Department of Health's decision to take sides in a heated
scientific and medical controversy concerning the appropriate standard for
diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
    In a letter dated December 21, 1999, Dr. Ansel Marks of the New York State
Department of Health (NYS DOH), stated that, "Rarely if ever have the
published guidelines indicated that anything more than two to three weeks of
antibiotics are required to cure Lyme disease."  The experience of thousands
of patients, together with extensive articles in peer-reviewed medical
literature, refutes this assertion.
    There is no scientific proof that 3 weeks of antibiotics will eradicate
the Lyme bacteria in most patients.
    Extensive articles in peer-reviewed medical journals establish that the
testing for Lyme disease is unreliable and that the bacteria is often not
destroyed by this 2 to 3-week treatment protocol.
    Physicians who do not adhere to this arbitrarily dictated standard of 2 to
3 weeks of antibiotic treatment are being targeted by the DOH for licensure
revocation hearings.  LYME-PAC believes that the DOH is violating its role as
an honest arbiter and protector of medical conduct.
    "The DOH is taking sides in a scientific dispute, before all the science
is in, at the cost of New Yorkers' lives and well-being.  It's inexcusable,"
says Monica Miller, a spokesperson for the Foundation for the Advancement of
Innovative Medicine.
    LYME-PAC calls for public hearings into the conduct of the DOH in order to
preserve the ability of New York State's physicians to practice clinical
medicine in accordance with their experience, best judgment and the complete
body of scientific evidence available.  Physicians must be allowed to tailor
treatment on a case-by-case basis.  Lyme disease is a multi-systemic disease.
Therefore, it is absurd to treat all people with different clinical symptoms
the same way.  The "one size fits all" approach is inherently incorrect in the
practical application of medical science, and it is specifically failing to
effectively address the real life medical tragedy in a large number of Lyme
disease patients.
    A copy of the letter from Ansel Marks of the OPMC, and a packet of Medical
Literature Abstracts, are available to the media from the Contact members

    For Lyme Borreliosis information online:

    Post Office Box 0014
    Cathedral Station
    215 West 104th Street
    New York, NY 10025

    Suffolk County Lyme Disease Support Group
    Bob Levine
    201 Washington Avenue
    Port Jefferson, NY 11777

    Lyme Disease Support Group of Staten Island and Brooklyn
    Janet Jernec
    St. Vincent's Medical Center
    355 Bard Avenue
    Staten Island, NY 10310

    Manhattan Lyme Disease Support Group
    Joan Green
    PO Box 0014
    215 West 104th Street
    New York, NY 10025

    Long Island Lyme Association, Inc.
    P0 Box 1842
    North Massapequa, NY 11758

    Westchester Lyme Disease Support Group
    Betty Gross
    PO Box 82
    Irvington-On-Hudson, NY 10533

    Rockland County Lyme Disease Support Group
    Ruchana White
    60 Tranquility Road
    Suffern, NY 10901

    Lyme Disease Coalition of New York and Connecticut
    Barbara Goldklang
    PO Box 463
    Katonah, NY 10536

    Mid-Hudson Lyme Disease Support Group
    c/o Pat Smalley
    14 West Cookingham Dr.
    Staatsburg, NY 12580

    Hyde Park Lyme Disease Support Group
    c/o Claire Nuttall
    94 Roosevelt Rd.
    Hyde Park, NY 12538

    Northern Duchess Lyme Disease Support Group
    c/o Mary Belliveau
    132 Starbarrack Rd.
    Red Hook, NY 12571

    Southern Duchess Lyme Disease Support Group
    c/o Pat Baldt
    19 Gerald Place
    Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

    Hudson Valley Committee for Lyme Disease Patient Advocacy
    c/o Jill Auerbach
    143 Bart Dr.
    Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

    CONTACT:  Barbara Goldklang, 914-769-6243
              Susan Fein,
              Terry Lautin, 212-945-4742
              Cathy Morrissey, 203-222-1993
              Jill Auerbach, 914-454-9414

Web Site:

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