E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

July, 2019

Summer greetings! We hope you are enjoying the nice weather and avoiding all the bugs! We could really use your help in contacting Gov. Andrew Cuomo in support of “Gio’s Law” that would authorize certain law enforcement officers and firefighters to possess and administer epinephrine. Many times these officials are the first to arrive on the scene of an emergency, and with anaphylaxis every minute counts. You can find the Governor’s contact information in Article 1.

This law is named in memory of Giovanni Cipriano who died in 2013 after eating a snack mix containing peanuts. If he had lived longer he might have been able to take advantage of oral immunotherapy that was successfully used by Katia Flavin of Syracuse recently. Now peanut allergy free, you can read her amazing story below.

Lastly, would you be willing to open your home to 15 year old Hector from Spain this school year? He is allergic to tree fruits but loves basketball, American football, soccer, skiing, debate, television production and playing guitar. Hector is very curious to know what Prom and Homecoming are like! You can contact Suzanne Driscoll at 585-732-7438 for more information.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful rest of the summer!

Mother Advocates for NYS Governor's Signature on Gio's Law

Gio's Law passes NYS legislature

It’s every allergy parent’s nightmare to lose a child due to anaphylaxis, but in memory of her son, Georgina Cornago Cipriano is determined to advocate for legislation to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family. “Gio’s Law” would authorize certain law enforcement officers and firefighters to possess and administer epinephrine. It was recently passed by the New York State legislature and is awaiting Gov. Cuomo’s signature. Read below about Georgina’s many efforts to encourage others to get educated and be proactive in creating an allergy treatment plan for their children.

Mother Advocates for NYS Governor's Signature on Gio's Law

Giovanni (left) and his mother Georgia Cipriano (right)
Giovanni (L) and his mother Georgia Cornago Cipriano (R)

By Kristen Stewart
July 15 th, 2019

Everything can change in an instant for anyone living with life threatening allergies. Georgina Cornago Cipriano knows this all too well — and is working hard to make sure other families don't have to experience the same heartbreak that hers has.

Her son Giovanni was a happy, healthy baby. Even as he grew and was diagnosed with allergies to peanuts, eggs, cats, dogs, mold and hay fever he remained active in school, sports and activities. He had a few encounters with peanuts over the years that resulted in vomiting, hives, and a bit of a tingly or scratchy throat but his issues resolved after a dose of an antihistamine.

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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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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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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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