The Minneapolis Associated Press (AP) reported Thursday, May 8, that the antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease is in short supply in Minnesota, forcing some clinics to scramble as the tick season arrives.
Doxycycline, ordinarily a cheap drug used to treat many diseases, has been on the national drug shortage list since January. Lyme disease is transmitted by infected black-legged deer ticks that hang out in tall grass, weeds and leaves. Untreated infections can spread to joint, heart and the nervous system.
Due to manufacturing delays and increased demand, costs to buy the antibiotic is increasing dramatically. The cost at a local pharmacy has gone up from $4 to $149.99 for 30 tablets.
Issues surrounding chronic Lyme disease must reach a wider international audience. The DVD “Under our Skin” produced by underourskin.com follows the stories of several individuals with Lyme disease and the doctors who treat them. The film exposes a complex story of politics and conflicts of interest among researchers, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.
I feel it is my responsibility as a concerned healthcare professional and researcher to speak out.