HELP FOR PEANUT ALLERGIES

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This was an aricle in the Montreal Gazette a few months ago.

Four times in her 13 years, Aly Rush has been raced to the emergency room with a life-threatening reaction a North Amercian food staple: peanuts. Even a bite tainted with peanuts or peanut oil is dangerous that at 13, Aly already scrutinizes ingredients on food packages and grills restaurant waiters before eating. Now she is in a groundbreaking experiment: getting once-a-month shots that might offer the first hope of minimizing the daily threat of this allergy for thousands of people. It will take several years of study to know whether the experimental shots work - and if they do, this so-called "anti-IgE" (immunoglobulin-E) treatment won't be a cure. But scientists hope the drug could control a molecule that causes sufferers' severe reactions, so that patients who accidentally eat peanuts might itch or swell up but WON'T FEAR DYING. "Patients are very desperate because there aren't any real treatments", says Donald Leung, pediatric allergy chief at the National Jewish Medical and Research Centre. The Denver Hospital is one of seven studying the therapy, an antibody code named Hu-901 and made by Houston based Tanox Inc.

I hope this article provides a bit of hope for some of you.

On Jan 30, 2001

I just asked our Pediatric Allergist about this vaccine for our 2 1/2 year old daughter. He said that in theory it is great but the COST of this monthly vaccine will be VERY expensive (he said like a few HUNDRED dollars -he guessed like $500) and that insurance companies will NOT cover it. They (insurance companies) feel that it is not medically necessary because our PA children can just AVOID the food and have alternative forms of medication to help in case of exposure (epi-pens). So, unless you are really wealthy-this vaccine is not in your reach. It is TOO bad. Our allergist said that once the vaccine is readily available and not a lot of people are receiving it due to cost-that in the next few years it should go down in price. We can only hope.

On Jan 30, 2001

Is that 500 dollars per month?! That IS outrageous! I tend to think I would spend any amount of money to keep my daughter safe. But $6000 per year is truly prohibitive! I hope it actually won't be quite that much... Also, maybe we can educate the insurance companies. I remember our pediatrician warned us that the insurance company might not pay for our RAST test for sesame seeds for the same reason: we could just avoid sesame seeds. Fortunately they did end up paying for it.

On Jan 30, 2001

My son's allergist just told me a couple of weeks ago that this probably wouldn't be available for another ten years.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Jan 31, 2001

To get an idea of how the Hu-901 product will develop in the marketplace, keep an eye on the asthma drug Xolair, which is in front of the FDA right now for approval. Hu-901 is very similar to Xolair (Tanox was involved in developing Xolair as well), so I would think the administration and pricing should be comparable.

On Jan 31, 2001

Five hundred dollars a month is pretty alarming. There goes Emily's college fund and she will have to elope too!

I think my husband has a program at work that allows him to put some pre-tax dollars into a fund for medical expenses to be used within the same year. In the meantime, I think I'll start looking into a savings plan.

Does anyone have information on the length of time a patient would be receiving the monthly shot?

On Jan 31, 2001

Isnt that funny insurance companies will cover 30,60 and 90 day inpatient detox centers for drug addicts and alcoholics, if they "just avoided their toxic habits" they (insurance co.) wouldnt have to pay and that might leave some money for people with real illnesses to be treated.

What a mess.....

ARI

On Jan 31, 2001

From what I've read about this vaccine, it will be terribly expensive and NOT readily available. Dr. Sampson is hoping to use the vaccines on a short term basis to reduce reactions in patients so that more conventional desensitization to peanuts can be pursued. There are desensitization treatments currently available but it is too dangerous to use them because of the threat of anaphylaxis. This vaccine could be used in conjunction with these other techniques to make them safe.

Rebekah

On Feb 1, 2001

I remember hearing a story like this a couple of years ago but the study was stopped because too many deaths occured during the testing phase. Did any of you hear this?

On Feb 2, 2001

No, the study was not stopped. It is currently being conducted at 5 or 6 medical centers around the country. There was an incident a few years ago where a boy died but it was not related to this study.

Rebekah

On Dec 21, 2002

My allergist also said that there will not be a vaccine available for five years or more.

On Dec 21, 2002

Maybe we are better off to hope for more awareness and better labeling practices. Last year my son had to get synagis shots and they were $1200/ a month. Luckily, our insurance company covered the cost. However, our Dr. said that many parents had to take out second mortgages on their homes to cover their costs to keep their premature babies safe from RSV...I hope that it wouldn't be as expensive for Peanut Allergies but it wouldn't surprise me.

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