Left to right: Julie Knell, Homa Woodrum, Kelley Lindberg, Joanne LaSpina, Dr. Ruchi Gupta, Lisa Rutter, Colette Martin, Jenny Sprague, Keeley McGuire, Elizabeth DiBurro, Ruth LovettSmith, Kimberly Pellicore, Lindsey Steffensen, Kristen Rutter, Rachel Hayden, Tracy Bush, Lauren Kashtan
On April 11th I had the privledge of attending an event known in the food allergy blogger community as the Mylan Summit. This two day summit, hosted by Mylan Specialty, is an informational and educational experience that brings food allergy bloggers and advocates, from all over the United States, into one room to learn and share. In the span of 8-9 hours, strangers become life long friends and we all leave the summit somehow lighter but with a sense of purpose.
Following are food allergy updates and news straight from the Mylan Summit.
EpiPen Brand Update
If you’ve opened a Women’s Day magazine recently you likely saw Mylan’s full page EpiPen ad. (Page 123 of the May 2014 issue.)
The message behind these ads is to “Life Happens, Be Prepared”.
Numerous food allergy deaths happen due to the lack of access to epinephrine. Parents (or food allergy sufferers) either don’t carry epinephrine with them or don’t administer it in a timely fashion. Epinephrine can stop an anaphylactic reaction and may save a life.
If you or your child has life threatening food allergies and you don’t have a prescription for epinephrine, talk to your allergist about getting one.
Mylan also released a new commercial that has aired numerous times during prime time television.
In November 2013, President Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, also known as the EpiPen Law. (You can read more about that at EpiPen Law Provides School Access to Epinephrine.) This Act encourages states to adopt laws that will require schools to have “stock” epinephrine on hand in the event of a severe allergic reaction. Many states are passing such laws and as of April 22nd, 2014; only 4 states (Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Texas) are without stock epinephrine bills. If you live in one of those 4 states, contact your local representatives and tell them why it is so important for schools to have epinephrine on hand.
Food Allergy Research Update
Ruchi Gupta, M. D., M.P.H. gave a great presentation on recent studies and the rise of food allergies in the United States.
According to a 2011 study of 40,000 kids across the United States; 8% of these children had food allergies. That is about 2 kids per classroom or 1 in 13 kids. 30% of these kids had multiple food allergies and 40% of them had experienced severe life threatening reactions.
Food allergy diagnoses are increasing as are the severity of reactions. While there is no cure for food allergies and we’ve yet to determine a cause, it’s crucial to make sure you have a health/action plan for you or your child in the event of a life threatening reaction. Discuss this plan with your allergist.
Michael Tringale, Vice President, External Affairs, with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America spoke during the advocacy portion of the summit, as did Becky Fry with the American Red Cross.
Michael shared that the mission behind AAFA is Research, Education and Advocacy. AAFA recently merged with Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) to bring a balance to AAFA whose focus in the past has been more on asthma and less on food allergies.
Becky shared that the American Red Cross has an Online Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine Auto-Injector Course. This sparked some debate as we discussed the need for this course to be a required portion of the already existing first aid and babysitter training course. By the heated discussion, I suspect it won’t be long before epinephrine training is added to these Red Cross courses. That moment showed the true power of advocacy.
The Mylan Summit was an amazing event and an important one for the food allergy community. Food allergy bloggers and advocates spent 8 hours discussing, learning and sharing. The take away is that we have come so far, yet we still have so much more work to do as a community to raise awareness.
For a play by play of the summit and for more information, check out the Mylan Summit twitter feed by using the hashtag #MylanSummit.
Mylan Summit Bloggers
|Ruth LovettSmith||Best Allergy Sites|
|Elizabeth DiBurro||EBL Food Allergies|
|Joanne LaSpina||Food Allergy Assistant|
|Kelly Rudnicki||Food Allergy Mama|
|Lindsey Steffensen||Frugal Food Allergies|
|Jenny Sprague||Multiple Food Allergy Help|
|Lisa Rutter||No Nuts Moms Group|
|Tracy Bush||Nutrimom – Food Allergy Liason|
|Keeley McGuire||Keeley McGuire Blog|
|Kimberly Pellicore||The Food Allergy Mom|
|Kelley Lindberg||Food Allergy Feast|
|Colette Martin||Learning to Eat Allergy-Free|
|Rachel Hayden||Mom vs. Food Allergy|
|Homa Woodrum||Oh Ma Deehness|
|Kristen Rutter||Nut Free Momma|
I disclose in any communication made by me about EpiPen (epinephrine) Auto-Injector and/or the Mylan Specialty Blogger Summit that such communication is at my own discretion and based on my own opinion. I also disclose that my travel expenses were compensated by Mylan Specialty in exchange for evaluation and feedback on information presented during the meeting.