Dr Jemseck Under Attack for Treating Lyme

From Under Our Skin:
When we began filming UNDER OUR SKIN, we had no idea that Dr. Joseph Jemsek, the North Carolina physician treating our main character, Mandy, would end up embroiled in a courtroom battle every bit as dramatic as Mandy’s struggle to regain her health. In 2006, Dr. Jemsek was the only Lyme specialist operating “above the radar” in the southeastern United States, and his clinic was admitting an average of 80 new patients a month, from 46 different states. Dr. Jemsek, an infectious disease specialist who had been treating AIDS patients since 1983, started noticing a growing number of very sick Lyme patients in his clinic around 2000. Using strategies he had learned from treating AIDS opportunistic co-infections, he began having good outcomes treating Lyme patients with long-term combinations of antibiotics. But Dr. Jemsek’s vocal criticism of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and its rigid position that 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotics cures Lyme disease, soon got him into trouble. After an email from a disgruntled Lyme patient ended in the hands of Dr. Allen C. Steere and Dr. Gary Wormser, lead authors of the IDSA Lyme guidelines, Dr. Wormser forwarded it with the header “Lyme Disease IV antibiotic treatment, Insurance Fraud in NC,” to the CDC, who in turn forwarded it to Curtis Ellis, Director of Investigations, North Carolina Medical Board. Once an investigation was opened, the board was at liberty to pull all of Dr. Jemsek’s Lyme patient files, looking for violations of the IDSA “standard of care,” which takes on the force of law in North Carolina, even though Dr. Jemsek followed the alternative ILADS Lyme guidelines. Continue Reading Here 

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