E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

March 2020

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak in New York State we are CANCELLING our Food Allergy Awareness Day at the Albany State Capital Building on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020. Please mark your calendar accordingly. If the current situation in NYS improves before the current session of the legislature ends in mid-June, we may host a smaller event. We will keep everyone informed.

Regarding new federal legislation, after attending a two day conference and advocacy event hosted by Food Allergy Research Education (FARE) we believe momentum in Washington, DC is increasing. Called the “Courage at Congress Advocacy Day to Fight Food Allergies,” we heard informational sessions on new therapies, defined our legislative priorities, and met with congressman and senators. You can read all the details in the following article.

Lastly, we would like to thank our Epi Everywhere New York (ENYNY) volunteers who work tirelessly to train personnel at day care centers, colleges and other locations on how to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to administer an EpiPen. Arranged by project manager Janet Goldman, presentations to date in 2020 have been given by Peter Deane, MD.; Sandra Glantz, MSN, FN; & Jeanne Lomas, MD. We sincerely appreciate all your efforts and know that you are helping to save lives every day.

FARE & Friends Making the Case on Capitol Hill

Two days of attending presentations and advocating with our legislators in Washington, DC gave us a very positive outlook on the future of protecting our love ones who have life-threatening allergies. Read all about the topics discussed and the specific legislation we are advocating for, along with numerous photos of the 150 people of all ages who attended. Next year FARE hopes to fly in five hundred activists and advocates, so Washington will know we will not be ignored!

Members of the New York State FARE contingent at US Capitol building

Edited by Jon Terry
March 11th, 2020

Greetings. On March 3rd and 4th the Food Allergy Research Education (FARE) organization hosted the “Courage at Congress Advocacy Day to Fight Food Allergies.” Your Allergy Advocacy Association proudly participated in conference and lobbying activities.

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UPDATE: Lawsuits against Brand Name and Generic Pharma Companies Move Ahead

Are you ready to join a class action suit against “Big Pharma” for trying to monopolize the epinephrine auto-injector market? A recent ruling by a US District Judge said that numerous lawsuits against the marketers and manufacturers of epinephrine auto-injectors may proceed as a nationwide class-action under a federal racketeering statute. Both brand name and generic drug companies allegedly tried to eliminate competition so they could raise prices by 500% or more. This ruling allows all persons and entities in the US who paid or provided reimbursement for Epi-Pens© as of August 24, 2011, to sue for damages under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch testifies before a U.S. House of Representatives Committee

Ruling Allows Millions to Join Lawsuit in Epi-Pen© Racketeering Case

By Dave Bloom
SnackSafely.com
2020/02/28

US District Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled yesterday that numerous lawsuits against the marketer and manufacturer of Epi-Pen© may proceed as a nationwide class-action under a federal racketeering statute. His ruling also allows consumers to sue for damages under state antitrust laws.

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Study: Co-Treatments Like Antihistamines and Probiotics Make Peanut OIT Success in Children More Likely

You’ve probably heard of the recent advances in Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) where patients are given very small amounts of peanut protein that do not trigger a reaction, and then increasing the dose over time to increase the amount the body can tolerate. A study by researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia found that adding antihistamines and probiotics increase the success rate by 10%. Overall, the study found that the treatment worked in around 70% of children, so it might be worth asking your doctor for more information.

Study: Co-Treatments Like Antihistamines and Probiotics Make Peanut OIT Success in Children More Likely

brownish beige tablet in foreground

By  News Wire ~ 3rd Party Press Release
2020/02/07

Co-treatments like antihistamines and probiotics make successful de-sensitisation treatment of peanut allergy in children via oral immunotherapy 10 percent more likely, researchers from the University of Adelaide have found.

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How Reliable are Oral Food Challenge Results?

Speaking of Oral Immunotherapy (OIT), one mother is asking if her son ever passed an oral food challenge, how would she know if this was a reliable result — and not just a good immune system day? An allergist replies that there are many variables that influence the reaction from ingesting an allergen, but he feels confident that it would be safe to add food to the diet if it was shown to be tolerated during an oral food challenge.

How Reliable are Oral Food Challenge Results?

Doctor Speaking to a patient
Photo: Getty

By Dr. Scott Sicherer
February 12, 2020

Q: My son is 16, with multiple food allergies since he was a toddler. Over the years, he’s had four experiences with anaphylaxis, but food errors have mostly been confined to mild reactions. As his reactions vary, my question is: If my son ever passed an oral food challenge, how would he know if this was a reliable result — and not just a good immune system day?

Dr. Sicherer: One reason reaction severity may vary has to do with the amount of the allergen consumed.

For example, a person may have mild or even no symptoms with eating one peanut, but have severe symptoms if 15 peanuts are eaten.

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