Allergy Testing and Immunotherapy Schemes Put Patients at Risk

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics Asks Congress to Protect Patients From Fraud and Sub-Standard Allergy Care

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Add-on allergy testing and immunotherapy schemes are popping up in primary care practices across the country – exposing patients and families to less-than-professional diagnosis and therapy and raising a potential for fraud.

More than 2,000 primary care offices have entered into agreements with third-party companies whereby an "allergy tech" tests patients and administers treatment. [http://www.aanma.org/advocacy/deceptive-allergy-practices] Patients are shuffled in for environmental allergy testing, and sometimes food allergy testing, then offered either allergy shot immunotherapy (SCIT) or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT – drops under the tongue – which are not currently approved by FDA). Often they are sent home with allergen cocktails to self-administer. Meanwhile, patients are unaware that "allergy techs" are not board-certified allergists or that allergy evaluation or treatment is not evidence-based and in some cases may not be FDA-approved or legally reimbursable by private or government insurance.

On Thursday, May 9, 2013, at the 16th annual Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill (AADCH) [http://www.aanma.org/aadch], Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) will urge Congress to stop fraud and abuse of patients and families with allergies and asthma and support access to quality, patient-centered care.

"Allergies, asthma and anaphylaxis are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions," says Nancy Sander, president and founder of AANMA. "We have evidence-based treatment guidelines proven to save lives and money. Patients and families deserve nothing less."

AANMA is the leading voice and patient advocate for more than 50 million Americans with allergies and 25 million with asthma.

Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill – May 9, 2013

Congressional Press Breakfast Briefing
9:00 – 10:00 am, Rayburn House Office Building
Room B338 (ground level)

Speakers include:
James Kiley, PhD, National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, on the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program's update of the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma 
James Valentine, Food & Drug Administration, on FDA's Patient Network
Laura Ledford, from Brandenburg, KY, mother of a 9-year-old boy who died from asthma 
Apolo Anton Ohno, short-track speed skater, on exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB)
Richard Weber, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, on the Nationwide Asthma Screening Program

Allergy & Asthma Health Fair
10:30 am1:30 pm, Rayburn Foyer (1st floor)

  • Free asthma, allergy and exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) screenings
  • One-on-one consultations with an allergist
  • Anaphylaxis preparedness demonstrations
  • Special "Bike Buddy" packs for kids with life-threatening allergies
  • Spirometry tests to measure lung function
  • EIB All Stars raffle
  • Hands-on, interactive displays

AADCH Sponsors
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; Boston Scientific; Genentech; GlaxoSmithKline; Mylan Specialty LP; sanofi; Sunovion; TEVA Respiratory; Thermo Fisher Scientific

About AANMA
Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. AANMA specializes in sharing family-friendly, medically accurate information through its award-winning publications Allergy & Asthma Today magazine and The MA Report newsletter and numerous community outreach programs. www.aanma.org

Contact: Tonya Winders
twinders@aanma.org 
615-300-2569

SOURCE Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics



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