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E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

July 2018

Batter up and play ball! We hope your plants and lawn are surviving the hot and dry weather. Don’t forget our Rochester Red Wings FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS DAY at Frontier Field on Sunday, August 12th. We will hope for warm and sunny weather as we pass out information to help educate the public on how we can all play a part in keeping those with life-threatening allergies safe. See you there! 

Rochester Red Wings vs. Charlotte Knights 1pm game time; gates open at 12 noon.

Frontier Field
333 Plymouth Ave N
Rochester, NY 14608

To buy tickets:
1-800-840-9227
7:00a - Midnight CST

For customer service:
1-800-840-9227
8:00a - 8:00p CST

If you can help, here is a reminder of a research opportunity:
If you are pregnant or just had a baby, The Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology at the University of Rochester is looking for a study participant just like you! For more information please call 585-275-8991.

Jon Terry
Founder, Allergy Advocacy Association
  

Understanding Pharmacy Benefit Managers and the Costs of Epinephrine

EAIs vs. PBMs

If you are wondering why the cost of epinephrine and other drugs has been increasing lately, read about the role Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) play. While they are supposed to be acting as intermediaries between pharmacists and insurance companies, the way they are compensated can end up costing the consumer a lot more money. This article addresses gag clauses where the pharmacist is not allowed to suggest lower cost alternatives, rebates that give PBMs 40 to 50 percent of a medicine’s list price and spread pricing where the PBM charges an employer a higher price for a drug. Please read this important article here on how you can avoid gag clauses and save money when you go to fill your next prescription.

Understanding Pharmacy Benefit Managers and the Costs of Epinephrine

Four Epi Injectors From Various Manufacturers

By Jon Terry
July 15th, 2018

Why has the excessive cost of epinephrine auto-injector (EAIs) devices become such a prominent public health issue? Along with the drug manufacturers and insurance companies, the news media has recently called attention to the role played by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for increasing our medication expenses. According to the Council of Economic Advisors, “Pricing in the pharmaceutical drug market suffers from high market concentration in the pharmaceutical distribution system and a lack of transparency.” To help better understand this relationship, the Allergy Advocacy Association is sharing an overview of selected available information and opinions on this very complex subject.

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Survey: Majority Don’t Use Prescribed Epinephrine in Emergency

Many with a severe allergy seem to think that an anaphylaxis reaction only happens to other people. A recent survey of 917 respondents found that 89 percent of the adults surveyed said they filled their prescriptions, but 45 percent said they didn’t have their device during their most severe allergic reaction — despite having had previous medical emergencies. What’s going on? Reasons given for not filling and carrying the prescription were cost, bulkiness, allergy not severe, no history of previous reaction and that they already had one or more. Perhaps we need a public information campaign to remind people to carry their EAI devices at all times.

Survey: Majority Don’t Use Prescribed Epinephrine in Emergency

EpiPen 2-Pak

By Denis Bedoya
June 21, 2018

A majority of people with potentially life-threatening allergies don’t use their epinephrine auto-injectors in an emergency, according to a study.

The results are based upon surveys of 917 people, including 450 adults. The findings were published Thursday in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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The Bacteria Babies Need

Could the mystery of the cause of allergies be a bacterium that now seems to have disappeared from the guts of infants? Called B. infantis, nine out of 10 American babies don’t harbor this bacterium in their gut as compared to those in less industrialized countries. The cause could be the rise in cesarean births, the overuse of antibiotics or the use of infant formula in place of breast milk. Studies suggest that by the time babies without B. infantis are older, they are more likely to have allergies and Type 1 diabetes — and be overweight.

The Bacteria Babies Need

Abstract Symbolic Bacteria Drawing
Credit: Ariel Davis

By Kristin Lawless
June 17, 2018

We may be missing the key to one of the biggest boons to public health since the introduction of iodine into the food supply in 1924.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have found that a strain of bacteria called B. infantis that is thought to have been the dominant bacterium in the infant gut for all of human history is disappearing from the Western world. According to their research, this was probably caused by the rise in cesarean births, the overuse of antibiotics and the use of infant formula in place of breast milk.

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What to Do When You're Stung

Many children do not realize they are allergic to bee stings until they get stung for the first time, while many adults have been stung before and suddenly become deathly allergic. With over 50 deaths a year in the U.S. due to anaphylaxis from insect stings, this important article describes what to do for any sort of insect bite. MRSA, a strain of staph bacteria, can also be a big concern. You can read the full article here.

Honey Bee on Fingers

Bees, wasps, and hornets: How to treat normal bites

Jul 3, 2018

Summertime means more time outdoors, where you may suffer many types of stings — mosquito bites, wasp bites, bee stings, spider bites, tick bites, or fire ant bites. While most consider insect bites a minor annoyance, they are life-threatening to the two million Americans allergic to their venom. In fact, there are at least 50 deaths each year in the U.S. because of allergic reactions from insect stings. And people who have suffered an allergic reaction have a 60 percent chance of a similar or worse reaction if stung again.

So how should you react to an insect sting?

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The information provided on this site is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment with a licensed physician.
The Allergy Advocacy Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.
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