LymeNet/LDANJ News Service
Dr. Joseph Burrascano is under investigation by the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC). He is a pioneer and leader in aggressive treatment methods for Lyme Disease patients continuing to suffer symptoms from the disease. Respected medical journals (e.g. Conn's Current Therapy) have published his protocols and his guidelines can be found on the LymeNet website.
As part of the investigation, he was interviewed on July 2. Patient files were removed from his office and will be searched for evidence of "unprofessional conduct." By law, the charges brought against a physician are not specified. In New York, the law authorizes the OPMC to use the original complaint to gain access to the physician's charts, but the final charges may not be the same as the original complaint. In other words, they can use anything they find, even if totally unrelated to the original complaint.
Dr. Burrascano's position on Lyme Disease conflicts with the view of many members of the academic medical world. They believe Lyme Disease is
easily diagnosed and adequatedly treated with 3- 4 weeks of antibiotics. This conservative protocol of treatment has left many patients ill and looking for
answers. Even with growing scientific evidence of persistent infection in some patients, the medical world has stayed divided into 2 camps concerning treatment. There is a sharp division between doctors treating aggressively for what they believe to be an active infection and those who feel the infection is
eradicated after adequate treatment. Dr. Burrascano's treatment methods and similar ideas are eagerly sought by many Lyme Disease patients dissatisfied after being treated by doctors using the conservative guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American College of Physicians (ACP) and other medical resources. These patients want a different approach to regaining their health.
It is speculated that the charges were initiated by members of the conservative camp. However, as OPMC rules give anonymity to the accusers
and the charges, it cannot be denied or confirmed. This gives the complainant protection against reprisals, but it also prevents accountability. Without full
disclosure, one can never explore the motives of the accuser.
Regardless of innocence or guilt, investigations can be ruinous to the practice, reputation, finances, and ultimately to the family security of the physician