When Central New York native Richard Gere appears in a new movie, it’s reason enough to cause excitement. But those with life-threatening food allergies will be particularly pleased to see that epinephrine plays a major part in the plot. Our founder, Jon Terry, gives us a preview of the film, without giving away the dramatic ending!
Movie Review: Richard Gere as “Norman”
By Jon Terry June 16th, 2017
When I founded the Allergy Advocacy Association seven years ago, I knew I would have to open myself up to any number of new experiences. Why did I decide to do this? Because I was determined to do whatever it takes to raise awareness of the dangers of anaphylaxis. Before January 2011, Web sites, newsletters, power point presentations, public events, and allergy conferences never entered my mind. To become an effective public advocate I would have to talk with many different kinds of people, develop better interpersonal skills, travel to new places, improve my IT network, etc. I think that a good public advocate must be articulate, polite, a good listener, patient, open-minded, and persistent. And I would like to think that I have learned how to do at least some of these new things well.
Restaurants are on the front lines in the battle to prevent anaphylaxis. Every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room, and most deaths due to food allergies are triggered by food consumed outside the home. Patrons of restaurants can’t always be sure the food they order does not contain allergens. In this article, Ishani Nath interviews top chefs, food safety experts and the next generation of professionals who speak candidly about what really goes on inside restaurant kitchens and the efforts they make to keep customers safe. While an absolute guarantee is not possible, food-service attitudes and efforts are certainly evolving. You might want to also check out AllergyEats, a Yelp-style online guide for allergic consumers.
When you dine out with food allergies or celiac disease, the big question is: Does this restaurant know how to feed me safely? In this special report from Allergic Living magazine, we speak to leading chefs, training experts and the next generation of restaurant pros, to discover the true state of food allergy accommodations.
The hard work of getting legislation passed to allow public entities to stock and administer epinephrine has been accomplished. But much remains to be done in order to convince the owners of restaurants, sports stadiums, daycare centers and churches to stock EpiPens and to be properly trained. Read about a Canadian nurse who took matters into her own hands to provide storage cabinets and obtain EpiPen donations from pharmaceutical companies along with free training materials.
A Nurse Works to Make Epinephrine the New AED in Public Venues
By Janet Goldman
May 22nd, 2017
What happens if you’re at a restaurant when suddenly your best friend has a severe allergic reaction?! Furthermore, what happens if your friend forgot his/her epinephrine auto-injector? What happens if they didn’t know they had any allergies to begin with?! Last September, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York State’s Emergency Allergy Treatment Act (EATA). This legislation allows public entities to stock and administer epinephrine. Public entities include a wide variety of venues such as restaurants, sports leagues, daycare centers and community centers. The possible benefits are priceless!
Charles Duhigg provides an eye-opening look at what really goes on behind the scenes at Mylan, the manufacturer of EpiPens. He interviewed 10 former Mylan executives who describe uncaring CEOs and how employees objected to misleading and dangerous television ads—and to the recent price gouging. We can only hope that alternatives to Mylan’s EpiPens will continue to offer some competition.
A few weeks ago, after some particularly incompetent parenting on my part (nuts in the dessert, a rushed trip to an emergency room after my child’s allergic reaction), I visited the local pharmacy to fill an EpiPen prescription.
You might recall EpiPen as last year’s poster child for out-of-control drug prices. Though this simple medical device contains only about $1 of the drug epinephrine, the company that sells it, Mylan, earned the public’s enmity and lawmakers’ scrutiny after ratcheting up prices to $609 a box.
Outraged parents, presidential candidates and even both parties in Congress managed to unite to attack Mylan for the price increases. By August, the company, which sells thousands of drugs and says it fills one in every 13 American prescriptions, was making mea culpas and renewing its promise to “do what’s right, not what’s easy,” as the company’s mission statement goes.
So I was surprised when my pharmacist informed me, months after those floggings and apologies had faded from the headlines, that I would still need to pay $609 for a box of two EpiPens.
Angel and George Mueller lost their son Dillon as a result of a bee sting, but vowed to make a positive difference by helping to educate others about the dangers of anaphylaxis. They teamed up with the Wisconsin Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons to provide anaphylaxis training and certification to help medical students learn how to recognize and react to someone going into anaphylactic shock. You can read the full article here.
Every now and then, someone touches your heart in a way that inspires you. I had this experience last fall when I met Angel and George Mueller of Mishicot. Although our paths crossed in a completely random manner, I’m incredibly grateful to have met this extraordinary couple.