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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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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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Study: EpiPens should work at least a while past expiration dates

Is an expired EpiPen better than no EpiPen at all? A recent study by pharmacist F. Lee Cantrell of the California Poison Control Center says definitely yes! After analyzing 40 expired EpiPens, he found that even 50 months past expiration the EpiPens retained 84 percent of epinephrine concentrations - enough to prevent anaphylactic shock. While Mylan is working on producing an EpiPen with a longer shelf life, patients are still encouraged to refill their EpiPen Auto-Injector approximately every 12 to 18 months to be assured of 100% effectiveness.

Hands Holding EpiPen Injector
Photo by Lucas Trieb

Study: EpiPens should work at least a while past expiration dates

Posted by the Reuters News Service on CNBC Web site
May 9th, 2017

It's worth a shot to use an expired EpiPen, if that's all you have, a new study suggests.

For more than four years past their stamped expiration dates, the handheld injectors retained high-enough concentrations of epinephrine to in all likelihood prevent potentially fatal allergic reactions, the study found.

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Mueller Family Inspire with “Do it for Dillon”

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.

George and Angel Mueller with Image of Son Dillon
Photo: Alisa M. Schafer/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Mueller Family Inspire with “Do it for Dillon”

By Patty Cobb
May 4th, 2017

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.

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