Kirsten Gillibrand: I've Been a Terrified Parent

Right now there are quite a few Democrats running for president, but to our knowledge only one has a child with a food allergy. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand writes about her experience with her son and how grateful she is they had adequate health insurance. Sen. Gillibrand promises to continue fighting for affordable healthcare for all and to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for unnecessary price increases.

Kirsten Gillibrand: I've Been a Terrified Parent

Kirsten Gillibrand

No family should face this impossible choice

By Kirsten Gillibrand
Wed. July 31, 2019

When my oldest son Theo was a toddler, he loved to help me cook dinner. One day he was sitting in his highchair and helping me dip slices of zucchini into egg batter for me to then bread and fry. Within seconds, his hands turned bright red and puffy. When I looked at his face and saw his cheeks and eyes had also swollen, my heart stopped. I knew he was having a severe allergic reaction.

Theo had experienced asthma attacks before, and my husband Jonathan and I were terrified, as we drove to the hospital, that Theo would keep getting worse.

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Syracuse Girl Overcomes Peanut Allergy with Oral Immunotherapy

You might say it’s a miracle, but thanks to parents’ willingness to take a chance, many children in the Syracuse area are now peanut allergy free after being treated with oral immunotherapy. It took ten months of ingesting increasing amount of peanut powder plus careful monitoring for Katia Flavin to overcome her peanut allergy, but the effort was well worth it. She and her family strongly suggest that others give it a try and hope that other allergists will offer this treatment in the future.

Syracuse Girl Overcomes Peanut Allergy with Oral Immunotherapy

Katia Flavin Oral Immunotherapy 'Graduate'
Katia Flavin “graduates” from oral immunotherapy

By Suzanne Driscoll
July 15, 2019

When thirteen year old Katia Flavin had to buy cookies for a party recently, it was a new experience that she could choose anything on the shelf. Diagnosed with a peanut allergy at age two, Katia recently completed a ten month oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT) and is now completely allergy free. She does have to remember to eat at least eight peanuts a day to keep up her immunity but enjoys eating them in the form of peanut M&M’s.

Katia’s case was a little unusual in that her blood tested negative for a peanut allergy and on a scratch test, but when “orally challenged” at the doctor’s, she did have a severe reaction and needed epinephrine. Her doctors as well as her family hoped that she would outgrow it, but by age 12 she hadn’t. Dr. Juan Sotomayor and Dr. Ellen Schaeffer of Allergy & Asthma Diagnostic Office in Syracuse suggested she try oral immunotherapy, and even though she was their very first patient to try it, her mother Michele jumped at the chance.

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Drug Prices Persistently Rising Despite Trump Efforts

It seems like prescription drug prices are getting out of control, despite efforts by Congress and the Trump administration. And as important drugs such as epinephrine are manufactured by just a few pharmaceutical companies, the situation could get even worse. The good news is prices are increasing slower than in the past, but four times faster than the rate of inflation. Read more about efforts from drug industry analysts and watchdog groups that report on price increases and push for bipartisan action at the federal level.

Drug Prices Persistently Rising Despite Trump Efforts

Bottle with Capsules Spilling Out

By Sarah Owermohle
07/01/2019

Prescription drug prices jumped 10.5 percent over the past six months, more slowly than during the same period last year but still four times faster than inflation, despite increasing pressure on drug makers from the Trump administration and Congress.

However, the top drug brands in the U.S. saw prices rise by an average of only 3.1 percent over the past six months according to Bernstein analysts, who calculated the average based on which brands — usually the top-sellers — they cover.

The data showing an overall leap in generic and brand-name prices was preliminary and may not give a clear picture of trends in the industry. Yet while many of the price hikes on Monday were for lower-cost drugs, and a handful of branded products fell in price, critics of the drug industry were quick to pounce.

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Despite Reports of Shortages, Epinephrine Auto-Injector Devices (EAIs) Are Available

Don’t panic if you have had difficulty filling your prescription for epinephrine autoinjectors due to a shortage of Epi-Pens. There are many alternatives available that are described in this article. These include generics and competing brands, and your allergist will be a helpful resource in finding the right solution for you or your child.

Despite Reports of Shortages, Epinephrine Auto-Injector Devices (EAIs) Are Available

Customer Consults with Pharmacist

Allergists Can Teach Patients How to Use Alternatives

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL
By News Wire
July 12th, 2019

As parents start to plan for the upcoming school year, many are worried they won’t be able to find needed epinephrine autoinjectors due to a shortage of Epi-Pens. Despite the shortage of Epi-Pens over the last year, other autoinjectors are available in pharmacies and should be considered by anyone who has a severe allergy that might result in anaphylaxis.

“No one should fear they won’t have epinephrine in an allergy emergency” says allergist Todd Mahr, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “Your allergist is a great resource to help you find either an EpiPen or one of the other epinephrine autoinjectors on the market. All autoinjectors contain epinephrine, and that’s the needed ingredient to halt an anaphylactic reaction. Your allergist may also be able to assist you with copay programs to help defer costs for some of the products.”

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Why GMOs Aren’t Responsible for a Spike in Food Allergies

You can blame genetically modified food for many things, but allergens are not one of them. The main reason is the major culprits such as peanuts, shellfish, milk and eggs are not genetically modified, at least as of yet. This article explains some of the future risks of genetically modifying food and how regulatory agencies are keeping a close eye on this research. Possible explanations are given for the current surge in allergies in children, as well as current methods to help prevent these allergies.

Why GMOs Aren’t Responsible for a Spike in Food Allergies

Nuts, shrimp, strawberries, eggs, kiwi fruit and milk on table

By Andrew Porterfield
June 7, 2019

Over the last 30 years, reported cases of food allergies — especially in young children — have gone up.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4 percent of children under 18 have some kind of food or digestive allergy. That number represents an increase of 18 percent for all food allergies among children between 1997 and 2007.

For some foods, the increase has been even greater. For example, peanut allergy prevalence has quadrupled from 0.4 percent in 1997 to more than 2 percent in 2010. In fact, peanut allergy is now the leading cause of anaphylactic shock — the most severe form of allergy — due to food in the United States. And the problem isn’t just confined to the US: hospital admissions for food-related anaphylaxis has seen a seven-fold rise in the United Kingdom since 1990.

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