Valentine greetings! We hope this finds you enjoying winter activities or getting the heck out of town to warmer weather. Hope (and love) is in the air with several new initiatives in the works to help those with serious food allergies. Pharmaceutical companies are lowering the cost of epi-pens and developing new treatments such as peanut patches. This month we are also offering very practical guidelines to introduce small amounts of peanut foods to infants who are at risk of developing food allergies.
Local allergist Dr. Shahzad Mustafa has been closely monitoring clinical trials for a new peanut patch that would help decrease the risk of an allergic reaction after accidental ingestion. Worn on the back or the inside of the upper arm, there were very few side effects in a recent study except for mild skin irritations. After 1-2 years of using the patch, close to 50% of the 74 participants saw a 50% improvement in peanut tolerance. DBV Technologies hopes to have the product approved by the Food and Drug Administration and marketed by 2018.
The Viaskin Peanut Patch: Will It Help Prevent Anaphylaxis?
By Janet Goldman February 11th, 2017
DBV Technologies has been developing the Viaskin Peanut Patch, a new method for preventing anaphylaxis. If used appropriately, the patch can increase tolerance to peanuts. The patch helps peanut allergic individuals who accidentally ingest or are accidentally exposed to peanut protein. Through immunotherapy, the patch can help prevent symptoms from an accidental exposure. However, even with a patch, users should still always carry epinephrine and strictly avoid peanuts.
A “free” epi-pen? Could this ever be possible? Kaleo’s Auvi-Q will re-enter the U.S. market on February 14th of this year and the company is determined to be the lowest cost alternative. Anyone with commercial insurance would not have to pay a dime, and Kaleo will even cover the cost of co-pays. Only those who make more than $100,000 a year and have no insurance or government coverage will be charged a maximum of $360. However, most insurance companies have not yet commented on whether they will cover the Auvi-Q. It is certainly nice to have alternatives and not rely on just one company to offer affordable pricing for lifesaving epi-pens.
By Kristen Stewart February 6th, 2017
Anyone with severe allergies knows the importance of having an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) at the ready. However, with the Epi-PenTM jumping more than $500 in price in the last eight years and until recently no other companies having an epinephrine auto-injector device available, not everyone can afford this potentially life-saving medication. That may be about to change as Kaleo’s Auvi-Q re-enters the U.S. market on February 14th.
After being told for years to avoid giving allergens such as peanuts and shellfish to children, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is now recommending that parents introduce children to peanuts in the first four to six months of life, based on their child’s risk level. Below are some excellent guidelines to help determine what that risk level might be and how to include peanuts in a baby’s diet. Always check with your pediatrician first before feeding your child any potential allergens.
Scientists say early and consistent feeding of peanuts can help prevent peanut allergies in children. A food allergy expert explains what parents should know.
Food allergies have grown in prevalence and severity, and until recently pediatricians have told parents to keep their babies away from peanuts, shellfish and other common allergenic foods.
New recommendations from food allergy experts, however, suggest parents should do exactly the opposite.
This month, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) outlined guidelines for introducing children to peanuts in the first four to six months of life based on each child’s risk level.
Mylan remains on the hot seat as members of Congress become increasingly frustrated with the delay in obtaining requested documents. If Mylan does not provide the unedited information by Feb. 28, 2017, Congress has the right to subpoena them. The company has already agreed to pay the federal government $465 million to settle claims that it overcharged Medicaid for the EpiPen.
Two high-ranking members of Congress are clamoring for drug maker Mylan to produce documents about its controversial 400 percent price hike of the EpiPen.
Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter Friday to Mylan, saying that the company hasn't produced enough documents "despite repeated requests." Chaffetz is chairman and Cummings the top Democrat of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which held a hearing on Mylan last year.