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E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

September, 2019

As temperatures fall into a lovely autumn, things are heating up here at the Allergy Advocacy Association. We have been very busy making plans for our second annual Rochester Allergy Awards Gala at ARTISAN Works on October 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. We will be honoring Dr. Jeremy Cushman from the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Jamie Kosten who saved the life of his father, a beekeeper, from a life threatening anaphylaxis response to bee stings. Below you can read all about our award recipients’ accomplishments.

We hope you can join us for a fun night with raffles for numerous baskets that are packed full of restaurant gift certificates and much more. There will also be a photo booth, great food and drinks, music and a crowd of people all interested in the prevention of anaphylaxis thru AWARENESS, ALERTNESS & ACTION. Proceeds from ticket sales will be used for our Epi Near You New York training program given to personnel at day care centers, summer camps, college campuses and other public venues on how to recognize someone having a severe allergic reaction and how to administer epinephrine. Register here and find out sponsorship opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you there!

What’s Behind the Persistent Shortage of Lifesaving Epi-Pens©?

Big Pharma, get your act together! Since 2017, Epi-Pens© have been in short supply, causing much concern in the allergy community. Pfizer, which manufactures the product for Mylan, says their production is improving but supplies will continue to be tight. The problem began in 2017 when inspectors noticed chips in the glass cartridges and bent or broken needles. Fortunately there are now alternatives to Mylan’s Epi-Pen that you can read about in the article below. Teva, for example, reports they have a good supply, and Mylan Customer Service says they will help anyone find a pharmacy to fill their prescription. You can read all the details of this unfortunate situation below.

What’s Behind the Persistent Shortage of Lifesaving Epi-Pens©?

text
[AP]
In this July 8, 2016, file photo, a pharmacist holds a package of Epi-Pen epinephrine auto-injectors, a Mylan product, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

By Bloomberg News
August 23, 2019

Mylan and Pfizer are still struggling with manufacturing issues for the EpiPen anti-allergy injector as the critical back-to-school season gets underway and a rival generic product hits the market.

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Honoring Those Who Save Lives, Dr. Jeremy Cushman and Jamie Kosten

It’s always nice to reward people who go well above the call of duty to make the world a better (and safer) place. Dr. Jeremy Cushman, who will be presented with the John J. Condemi award, helped to implement the Check and Inject program that allows EMTs to administer epinephrine using a vial and syringe. This program is saving thousands of dollars every year and has increased awareness of anaphylaxis and the role epinephrine plays in saving lives.

Our Ruth T. Cornell award will be presented to Jamie Kosten who saved is father’s life by administering epinephrine after his father was stung by a bee. Congratulations to both!

Honoring Those Who Save Lives,  Dr. Jeremy Cushman and Jamie Kosten

Jamie Kosten (left) and Dr Jeremy Cushman (right)

By Suzanne Driscoll
September 9th, 2019

On Thursday October 10th the Allergy Advocacy Association will hold our second annual Action Awards Gala. Our association will honor Jeremy Cushman MD and Jamie Kosten; Dr. Jeremy Cushman will receive the John J. Condemi award and Jamie Kosten will receive the Ruthie T. Cornell award.

Two men could hardly be more different than Jeremy and Jamie. One is a grown man with many years as a practicing physician. The other is a young man working his way towards graduation from McQuaid Jesuit High School. Both men, however, have aided individuals at risk for anaphylaxis in two very unique ways. And saved lives, too!

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Sanofi Seeking Billions from Mylan in Epi-Pen© Anti-trust Suit

As noted in the previous article, whenever a company owns 90% of a product’s market share, it can create havoc when there are quality issues causing supplies to dwindle. Sanofi was a competitor of Mylan’s EpiPen, and lost so much money due to Mylan’s alleged unfair selling practices that they turned the rights back to Kaléo in 2016. Now Sanofi is suing Mylan for erecting barriers such as not allowing insurers and pharmacies to get rebates if they offered reimbursement for Sanofi’s product, Auvi-Q. Fortunately, Kaléo re-introduced Auvi-Q to the market in 2017.

You can read the whole sordid story below.

Sanofi Seeking Billions from Mylan in Epi-Pen© Anti-trust Suit

Monopoly Game Cartoon Millionaire with EpiPens

By Dave Bloom
August 13, 2019

Prompt administration of epinephrine can mean the difference between life and death for a food allergy sufferer experiencing anaphylaxis, a severe, sometimes fatal reaction to an allergen. That’s why those that have been diagnosed with an allergy to specific foods are encouraged to carry two epinephrine auto-injectors with them at all times, wherever they go.

Back in 2015, there were three epinephrine auto-injectors approved for the US market: EpiPen by Mylan — by far the dominant product with a 90% market share — Adrenaclick by Impax, and Auvi-Q, a relatively new entrant at the time manufactured and marketed by Sanofi.

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New Peanut Allergy Treatment Shows Effectiveness and Safety

There is yet another approach to desensitizing those who are allergic to peanuts. Instead of having patients ingest peanut protein as in oral immune therapy, doctors using Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) place a small amount of peanut protein under patients’ tongues. Because the peanut protein goes immediately to the blood stream and avoids digestion, patients can be given much smaller amounts that will hopefully avoid serious side effects.

New Peanut Allergy Treatment Shows Effectiveness and Safety

Shelled Peanuts

Source: University of North Carolina Health Care
Date: September 4, 2019
Summary:

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) trial participants tolerated between 10 and 20 times more peanut protein than it would take for someone to get sick. Researchers say SLIT provides a good cushion of protection with an easy mechanism (tiny bit of liquid under the tongue) and a strong safety signal.

People allergic to peanuts may have a new way to protect themselves from severe allergic reactions to accidental peanut exposure. It's called sublingual immunotherapy — or SLIT — and it involves putting a miniscule amount of liquefied peanut protein under the tongue, where it is absorbed immediately into the blood stream to desensitize the immune system to larger amounts of peanut protein.

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