Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cost of Epipens and Other Pharmaceutical Issues

I really have to wonder about the cost of EpiPens. Why are they so expensive? Why do they cost less in Canada? (I'm Canadian) In general costs of drugs have gone up because of costs of research and development, and testing before a drug can reach the market. The inventor of the EpiPen Sheldon Kaplan (who never got a penny in royalties) has largely been forgotten by history. See History of Allergies

People in the allergy community have been complaining for a while about the costs.
Anaphilatic Sticker Shock
Pharmacist Mario Milot, of Sutton, Quebec, sells EpiPens for a fraction of what they cost in the States.
EpiPen RipOff
EpiPen $0 co-pay card can help, but not everyone is eligible to use the card.
A Talking “Epinephrine” Shot – Way Too Expensive, but Touted by Insipid Reporting
Price of life-saving allergy injections has spiked
Life-saving Epinephrine Injection Out of Reach for Average Americans
Self-Injectable Epinephrine for Initial Management of Anaphylaxis in Children
The average wholesale price of an EpiPen® or EpiPen® Jr (Dey LP) is $56.54. A kit containing two auto-injectors costs $108.91.
10 big brands keep pumping out big bucks, with a little help from price hikes
Unmder Mylan EpiPen: The company saw a 13% jump in specialty drug sales for 2013, to $176 million. And that's a number Mylan largely attributed to its EpiPen product.

While I'm questioning pharmaceutical companies:

Why not label corn in medications?
Why do some drug companies put lactose in some inhalers?

I had a doctor write me a script for an inhaler that contained lactose (milk) fo my then milk allergic child.
Why do some drug companies put nuts in some of their medications?
Prescriptions, and Over-the-Counter Medications and Treatments Containing Nuts

Jennifer B at Food Allergy Buzz struck a nerve when she posted on Facebook "Manufacturers of epipen & auvi-q spend money on celebrity spokespeople and gifting ‪#‎foodallergy‬ bloggers. Why not use the money to make epinephrine more affordable? If you need life saving epinephrine, celebrity spokespeople and bloggers aren't needed to convince you to purchase it." After posting it, she found out about a event hosted by Mylan and wrote about her feelings here Food Allergy Community?

The event for allergy bloggers was at Disneyland co-hosted with Mylan. The allergy bloggers and authors toured Disney and their allergy awareness, in both restaurant services and in stocking Epipens at Allergy Stations in the park. They had other allergy activities as well. I did not attend.

UPDATE A couple of bloggers who went told me, they asked about the cost of EpiPens and how the cost still effected many people. They talked about how insurance does not work for everyone. I do hope they blog about it! (hint, hint) I would love to here Mylan's response! Allergens in medications was also talked about at this event.

Mylan Signs Strategic Alliance Agreement with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to Enhance Access to EpiPen(R) (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors

A well done post by The Gluten Dude CVS Will No Longer Check My Meds for Gluten. Here’s Why

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Allergy Dangers and Beds

A while back my husband and I were shopping at The Brick, looking for a new mattress for our bed. I asked where they keep their list of ingredients? The sales person was confused, as to what I was referring to. I explained that mattresses, and bed materials can be made from allergens, and I wanted to know if they listed the ingredients, or materials on their products. After I gave him a brief lesson on chemurgy he said that some of The Bricks mattresses are made from in part from soy. I asked what their policy was for warning people with soy allergens about those products, he said they had none.

For more information of furniture made from allergens see my sister blog Chemurgy and Allergens:
Mattresses Made From Soy

Quilt Batting Made From Soy

Furniture Made From Coconuts

Mattresses Made From Corn

Furniture Made From Soy

Home Decore Items Made From Nuts
(The products listed on the above links are sold at different stores. The Brick is one of many stores that carry non food items that contain allergens)

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Princess and The Peanut Allergy

What I found at my local library: The Princess and the Peanut Allergy by Wendy McClure. At first the birthday girl was going to pick out a cake with peanuts in it. After the birthday girl finds out about her friend's peanut allergy, they have a tiff, but in the end Regina orders a peanut free cake, and Paula, the friend with the peanut allergy is reminded of how important it is to speak up and not be "a quiet little mouse" about her allergy.

Everyone enjoyed the birthday party. I would have liked to hear more about making sure the cake was truly nut free, rather than "We've made special cakes like this before." after passing a note to the baker "No Peanuts! Not even a Little Bit!". See our list of Nut Free Bake Shops I would also liked at lest a mention of other allergens could have been a concern in the children's section of the book. In "A Note To parents and Friends of Children With Food Allergies" They did mention other allergies, and went into more details about cross contamination with allergens, and asking questions at restaurants.

What I did like is how the book included social problems of handling a peanut allergy, during birthday parties. This is a common issue for children with food allergies.

More Kids Books About Allergies

Monday, March 16, 2015

Books and More Books

From the Gecko's Foot "Milk is a foodstuff but the protein it contains, casein can be processed to make a useful plastic. Before the advent of synthetic plastics, milk plastic was used to make small objects such as buttons.

Before reading The Gecko's Foot I posted on my Chemurgy and Allergens Blog about Casein Buttons.

Buttons Made From Milk Protein Casein

I was delighted to see some allergy books for tweens and teens on Food Allergy (as well as asthma) at the library. Most libraries have kid allergy books but few have books for young people. They may be more interested in learning some of the science behind their allergy, and reading about the social issues, like collage and work with allergies, as well as dating and taking responsibility for their food allergy. I believe that young people should read and learn about their age appropriate allergy issues not just from parents. (as important as this is)

Another book I recomend for anyone with a food allergy, but mostly for young adults with food allergy(s) is Don't Kill The Birthday Girl.

Full Disclosure: All these books I found or borrowed at my city library.

For Books for Children See: Kid Allergy Books

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fresh The Movie

I recently watched Fresh The Movie not directly allergy related but an interesting watch as far as GMOs and Organic foods learning goes. It Celebrates and interviews the farmers, thinkers and business people who are re-inventing our food system. It clearly shows how organic farming can work, economically as well as many of the health benefits to both people and our planet. I enjoyed the conversation on Mono-cropping, but felt the effects of pesticides and possible connections to food allergies could have been explored.

Full disclosure: I borrowed this DVD from my local library, another movie I enjoyed from my local library is The Movie Dirt.

What Are You Watching? Reading?