WASHINGTON, DC—Womble Bond Dickinson telecom attorney Gregg Skall has long been an advocate for patients with Lyme disease. Skall serves pro bono as legal counsel to the National Capital Lyme Disease Association (NatCapLyme) and on January 28, he gave a presentation to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Tick-Borne Diseases Working Group.
Recently, the Kay Hagan Tick Act was signed into law, authorizing $150 million to combat tick- and vector-borne illnesses. But federal officials still must decide exactly how to distribute those funds. In speaking to the Health and Human Services Working Group, Skall argued that those funds should be focused on helping patients with the persistent form of Lyme borreliosis, especially since Lyme disease is the number one vector-borne disease in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We believe it is imperative that government-funded research studies emphasize the persistent forms of Lyme and tick-borne diseases,” Skall said. “The growing multitude of persistently ill tick-borne disease patients warrants an un-biased, federally-funded research approach to finding effective diagnosis and treatment protocols for Lyme and tick-borne disease patients.”
“We believe it is imperative that government-funded research studies emphasize the persistent forms of Lyme and tick-borne diseases. The growing multitude of persistently ill tick-borne disease patients warrants an un-biased, federally-funded research approach to finding effective diagnosis and treatment protocols for Lyme and tick-borne disease patients.”
In addition, Skall said while NatCapLyme recognizes the importance of awareness and prevention efforts, the organization would like for these funds to target clinical trials for patients with the persistent form of the disease.
“Lyme and tick-borne diseases erode every facet of an individual’s life, decimate marriages and livelihoods, cause children to leave school and lose their childhoods and for some, lead to death. For many patients, life never returns to normal. It is shameful that so many people suffer for lack of an accurate diagnoses or effective treatment. With an epidemic growing by the tens-of-thousands each year, this problem is not going away. It is incumbent upon us all to find answers so that generations to come will not be afflicted by this disease,” Skall said.
Gregg Skall represents broadcasters and other parties in their regulatory dealings before the Federal Communications Commission and in their commercial business dealings. He serves as Washington Counsel to several state broadcaster associations. He also works with telecommunications companies and with radio device manufacturers to obtain FCC approvals.