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Congress Acts to Improve CDC and NIH Lyme Disease Programs [Canada Fails]

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

[CanLyme Note: The Canadian system via the Pubic Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) adopted the same corrupted, biased position of the US CDC.  Now we need Canadian parliamentarians to do the right thing for the sick. Last year, Health Canada announced there would be a tiny bit of funding, $4 million, for research… but the funding would go to only one research network, already formed. This was followed by a blatantly unethical review process that denied funding to those scientists not buying into the good ole boys network of US CDC friends within our health care system.  A prerequisite for funding as stated by CIHR was that patient stakeholders be directly involved.  The reason for the denial was because the researchers worked directly with patient groups … the exact stated requirement for funding in the first place.  Will our Canadian parliamentarians investigate?  Will they form an oversight committee long asked for by patients and their experts?  Thousands of Canadians are sick, cannot get help through the federal and provincial health care systems.  Lyme disease patient suicides are on the rise because they have nowhere to turn while they see our elected officials doing nothing to help.  The federal government’s unelected bureaucrats were required by law to create Lyme disease guidelines as per Bill 442, and they simply thumbed their nose at the elected legislators (lawmakers), all without consequence.  If our lawmakers do nothing when laws are not followed by government then this is a failed democracy.]

Congress has stepped up efforts to improve the federal government’s response to the rapidly growing epidemic of Lyme disease.

“…In addition, CDC is now required to establish performance indicators for Lyme disease and to justify funding disparities between Lyme disease and other less common vector-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus and Zika.”

“…Conflicts of interest and entrenched biases influence policy decisions. Lack of transparency and accountability make it difficult to assess agency performance.”

“Compounding these problems is inadequate federal funding for prevention and research. While CDC and NIH consider Lyme a priority vector-borne disease, they don’t give it the same attention and resources as other priority vector-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus and Zika, which are far less common with a dramatically lower burden of disease. For example, NIH’s FY 2015 Lyme disease program funding was $24 million, or $63 per case. By contrast, funding for West Nile virus with 2,062 cases in 2015 was $40 million, or $19,627 per case.

Unfortunately, CDC and NIH have fallen short in their mission to fight the Lyme epidemic. The number of cases continues to grow, the geographic range continues to expand, the CDC endorsed two-tier test is highly unreliable, CDC and NIH sanctioned treatment options fail up to 36% of the time, and no human vaccines are available”

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