Skip to main content

Posts

When Food Allergy Treatments are Sensationalized, it is the Allergist's Role to Bring Us All Back Down to Earth

Sharing a recent post from my practice Facebook page, in response to concerns raised by the recent publication of a meta analysis on anaphylaxis rates during food allergen oral immunotherapy: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)30420-9/fulltext
I hope my comments are helpful at proving some context for patients currently pursuing or consider food allergen desensitization therapy. 
I am a non-alarmist by nature, and feel it is 100% possible to integrate new data without falling prey to the sensationalization of these publications by the media. It is frustrating to read in the news one day, "Researchers find CURE for peanut allergies!" (WRONG!!!) and the next day read "Experimental treatment for food allergy causes more life-threatening reactions than avoidance!" (Hmmm...a bit misleading). No nuance, no thoughtfulness, no concern for the impact of such a black & white approach to a decidedly grey issue. And why would there be? Nuance …
Recent posts

Fostering a Culture of Inclusion in Schools

It's that time again... Back to School!

I, for one, relish the newly found silence in my home in the afternoon. I am also happy in the confidence that my boys are learning and playing and enjoying school again. I like knowing that the sweltering days of summer will soon transition into pleasant autumn evenings.

However, I know that back to school season brings on very different emotions for parents of children with life-threatening food allergies. These feelings range from fear and anxiety at being separated from a child with medical needs, to frustration with the necessary mounds of paperwork that constitute school health forms, and apprehension about what some might term "the little things": Will my child have someone to sit with at lunch? What if someone at the middle school starts a food fight, and throws a PB& J? How will my 5 year old handle it, when at the end of a long day of kindergarten, a classmate shares cupcakes with everyone as a birthday treat (everyo…

Kids Got Too Much Candy this Halloween? Here Are Some Options!

If your Halloween ended up like hours, a short time spent trick or tricking resulted in a ridiculous quantity of candy. Luckily for me, the risk of finding shellfish in my boys' candy stash is exceedingly low. The same sense of relief does not extend to the families of kids with other food allergies, such as milk, egg, peanut or tree nuts. So, what's a candy-overloaded family to do? Here are a few ideas:

1. Let mom and dad eat it. Just kidding. Not really. :-/

2. Invite the "Switch Witch" over for a visit! She takes the candy, and leaves a cool toy in its place!

3. Send your candy to our troops serving abroad! Your donated candy will be included in care packages. Operation Gratitude does a great job: http://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/halloween-candy-for-the-troops/

4. Ask your local dentist or allergist about Halloween candy buy-backs! Maybe your kids will make a few bucks... see below for a picture of a few of my patients visiting their dentist during a candy …

Major Changes to Express Scripts Formulary Will Affect Many Asthma and Allergy Patients

I just received notice that as of January 1, 2014, the Express Scripts formulary will be removing a number of medications from its repertoire of covered drugs. This means that patients under the Express Scripts plan will have NO COVERAGE for these prescriptions, and will be required to pay full price at the pharmacy. The list is long, and heavy on medications commonly used by patients with asthma and allergies:

Asthma medications:

Advair diskus
Advair HFA
Alvesco HFA
Flovent Diskus
Flovent HFA
Maxair Autohaler
Proventil HFA
Xopenex HFA

Allergy medications:

Auvi-Q
Beconase AQ
Omnaris
Rhinocort Aqua
Veramyst
Zetonna

As insurers continue to seek ways to cut costs and boost the bottom line, they will negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to obtain lower pricing. Those companies that play ball get to keep their drugs on the formulary. Those that don't, get dropped. The losers are the patients who will be required to switch from medications they have been taking successfully.

If you or…

Your Chance to Weigh In On Stock Epinehprine Legislation (Courtesy of AANMA)

I am proud to be from Illinois, where we already have excellent guidelines in place for the protection of food allergic children, and also have a stock epinephrine law on the books. I am also so pleased that my state's U.S. Senators have teamed up to co-sponsor a bipartisan bill designed to keep the children of America safe from severe allergic reactions. Read on to learn more!
Courtesy of the Allergy and Asthma Network - Mothers of Asthmatics:
Your Chance to Weigh In On Stock Epinephrine Legislation
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which would encourage states to require that schools keep lifesaving epinephrine on hand, is now in front of the U.S. Senate, bringing it one step closer to passage. You can make a difference by contacting your Senators today to ask for their support.
S. 1503 was introduced by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and co-sponsored by 23 other senators. The companion bill, sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn.) and House Democ…

Generic Epinephrine Autoinjector Authorized (once again!) - What Does It Mean For You?

The following message is courtesy of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. A formerly available epinephrine auto-injector (Adrenaclick) is back on the market, as is an authorized generic for this specific device. It is likely that insurance companies and pharmacies may encourage substitution with this generic product, as a way to decrease expenses for both insurers and patients. Please read the message, and be alert to the possibility of device substitution. _________________________________________ Be Aware of Authorized Generic Epinephrine Autoinjector
Dear Colleagues: It has come to our attention that Lineage Therapeutics, Inc. recently launched an authorized generic version of Adrenaclick® under the name epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector. This product being marketed as a generic epinephrine autoinjector is an “authorized generic” of the Adrenaclick autoinjector only. We want to make you aware because the availability of this product may result in substi…

Be a Star! Submit your video to AANMA's "Why see an Allergist?" campaign!

Allergy & Asthma Network - Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) is partnering with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) to produce six video vignettes on "Why see an Allergist?" and they need your help! AANMA is looking for people who fit the following criteria and are willing to participate:
Newly diagnosed or undiagnosed patients with symptoms of allergy and/or asthma Patients diagnosed with at least one of the following conditions: Children with seasonal allergies Food allergy Pregnancy and asthma Teenager with asthma Pet allergies Rhinitis Required to send a homemade, 60-second video of your story to AANMA by March 15, 2013 Willing to participate in a pre-interview via telephone with video production agency Able and willing to participate in a one-day commercial video shoot in downtown Chicago in April 2013  The video vignettes will be utilized in social media outlets to raise awareness and educate the public on the role of an allergist in a com…