Study Shows High Costs and Burden of Peanut Allergy

The need for a treatment for peanut allergies becomes more apparent when a recent study showed that those living with an allergy to peanuts have almost double the annual healthcare costs for patients who didn’t have a peanut allergy. Out of 42,000 people studied, 36% of the peanut allergy patients had experienced anaphylaxis and 33% had visited an emergency department, compared to 20% of those without a peanut allergy.

Study Shows High Costs and Burden of Peanut Allergy

A pile of peanuts

By: Gwen Smith
February 6, 2020

A study of a large U.S. health insurer database reveals the high dollar and health costs for those living with peanut allergy.

Using the IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database, researchers analyzed insurance claims for almost 42,000 patients with peanut allergy between January 2011 and September 2015. They found that:

-The yearly “all-cause” healthcare costs for patients who had a peanut allergy diagnostic code was $6,400 a year. That was almost double the “all-cause” annual healthcare costs ($3,500) for patients who didn’t have the peanut allergy code.

-In a follow-up analysis of the next 12 months, 36% of the peanut allergy patients had a code in their records showing they’d been treated for an anaphylactic reaction.

-In the original analysis, 33% of the peanut allergy patients had visited an emergency department, compared to 20% without peanut allergy.

-Costs were 30% lower in patients with asthma codes without peanut allergy codes when compared to patients who had both codes. (Approximately $5,700 compared to $8,100).

Dr. Todd Green, vice president of medical affairs at DBV Technologies, was one the authors of the study, which was published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology journal. DBV partly funded this analysis.

Green says the peanut allergy claims data “speak to the need for active therapy and the difficulties with trying to avoid peanut exposure in allergic patients.” DBV has developed the Viaskin Peanut patch for such a purpose, and is currently waiting to see if it will get FDA approval.

“This publication highlights the significant healthcare burden associated with a peanut allergy diagnosis in terms of inpatient, outpatient, emergency medical, and pharmacy services,” Green told Allergic Living.

Related Reading:

Severe Food Allergy Reactions Surge Over Decade, Along with Health Costs

Asthma’s Cost to U.S. Health-Care System Rises to $82 Billion

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