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The Elephant in the Exam Room: Food Allergy Mortality

The Elephant in the Exam Room: Food Allergy Mortality

While written for a target audience of healthcare professionals, this post can give parents and others, talking points and things to consider when discussing food allergy management with healthcare teams. For more details, read "Special Report: What Restaurants Are Getting Right And Wrong On Food Allergies"

Dr. Michael Pistiner

By Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc
July 13th, 2017

It is difficult to know how many children with food allergy have been saved each year due to effective food allergy management strategies. Evidence based allergen avoidance strategies, and the timely recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis with epinephrine must be reiterated to all who are responsible for the care of children with food allergy. Health care teams including doctors and nurses, must be trained to teach effective food allergy management strategies at the very onset of the allergy, even before seeing an allergist. We must emphasize the identification of patients with potentially life-threatening allergies and the effective delivery of food allergy management education. Physicians and nurses must also be able to impart that unless effective management strategies are put in place, there may be an increased risk of food allergy mortality, the elephant in the examining room.

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Drug Shortages and Rapid Price Escalation: The Latest on the Crisis

Drug Shortages and Rapid Price Escalation: The Latest on the Crisis

The American health system is now into the seventh year of an unprecedented and unplanned shortage of emergency medications. The root cause is the American manufacturers of intravenous medications, and disputes between those manufacturers and the Federal agencies that oversee drug supply and manufacturing practices (FDA and DEA), over safe manufacturing and quality processes. As a result, during this period prices of all emergency medications have increased dramatically.

For an informative overview of the current situation, please read "Study: EpiPens Should Work At Least A While Past Expiration Dates".

Sodium Bicarbonate Injector
Photo by Tom Page.

By James J. Augustine, MD, FACEP
Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Crisis

There are now life-threatening problems with medication supplies for EMS providers across all classes of emergency medicines. As of June 26, 2017, there are 69 preparations of 28 emergency care preparations that are in short supply, including most forms of adenosine, atropine, bicarbonate, calcium, dextrose, dopamine, epinephrine, fentanyl, labetalol, magnesium, and lorazepam.

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Special Report: What Restaurants are Getting Right and Wrong on Food Allergies

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.

Special Report: What Restaurants are Getting Right and Wrong on Food Allergies

Jennifer Stack with Mary Ross Kyle Nguyen
CIA instructor Jennifer Stack with students Mary Ross and Kyle Nguyen. Photo: Brent Herrig

By: Ishani Nath
June 8, 2017
Allergic Living

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.

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Movie Review: Richard Gere as “Norman”

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.

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Outcry Over EpiPen Prices Hasn’t Made Them Lower

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.

Outcry Over EpiPen Prices Hasn’t Made Them Lower

Activists Protest Cost of Meds
Activists protesting the cost of medication outside Mylan’s offices in New York in September. Credit Erik McGregor/Pacific Press, via LightRocket and Getty Images

By Charles Duhigg
June 4th, 2017

 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.

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