Allergy Shots at Risk?
Yes, it's true. If regulations by the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) go through, allergy shots may become a thing of the past.
If you, or someone you loves, has allergies, you know how miserable they can be.
My Allergy Horror
I personally had debilitating allergies in my teens and twenties. I was on 3 different prescription medications for spring allergies, but was still so ill that I didn't go in to school (except for my killer 9th grade biology class) for 6 weeks every spring.
In my twenties, I basically had 6 weeks of horror.
I would wake up with eyes swollen almost completely shut, had a constantly runny, stuffy nose, was sneezing, and basically just felt horrible.
It was so bad that every year, when winter gave signs of ending, I would have anxiety knowing what was coming.
Healing from Allergy Shots
I tried some shots, but for some reason they didn't work.
In my twenties, however, I went to the Northwestern University Medical Center in pursuit of healing, and worked with the head allergist there. Apparently new things had taken place in the realm of food allergies, and the doctor felt that he could help me.
And help, he did.
Within one season of allergy shots, I was 80% healed.
It was a MIRACLE for me.
My oldest has been helped significantly as well. He used to have horrible symptoms in the spring, but now, due to shots, has a fairly uneventful allergy season.
This all, however, might end.
Allergy Shots at Risk
Basically, the USP is suggesting new regulations that would force all allergy shots (and other compounding pharmaceuticals) to be made under HAZMAT conditions.
Approximately 3 years ago, there was a fungal outbreak due to a contamination in a compounding pharmacy. Compounded steroidal injections caused a fungal meningitis outbreak and 64 people died. Pharmacists were charged with murder in this case. (source)
This case has garnered attention recently and so the USP is ramping up regulations to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.
However, the regulations will be extended, likely, to not only compounding pharmacies, but to allergists who mix allergy shot vials in their offices.
Andrew Murray, a fellow with The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) “These proposed new rules are incredibly onerous and probably will be cost prohibitive for AAAAI physicians to undertake,” he said. “The consequence of this is that physicians will have none to very limited options for getting allergen extract.” (source)
Murray also stated that allergen extracts have been made for 100 years and there has been no evidence that there has been any risk of infection in that time period.
Included in the proposed regulations are positive pressure clean rooms, externally vented laminar flow hoods and 28-day expiration times (which means, according to Dr. Murray, “More allergy shots, more cost, less chance of reaching an effective dose, and increased risk of the patient for allergic reaction to allergy shots.”)
In response, the AAAAI, the world's leading allergist association, has launched a petition to stop this overreach.
What Can You Do?
- Sign the Petition at Change.org to have the USP leave the regulations as they are.
- Comment at the USP's site. Comments are only open through today, so go now :). There are directions for how to submit your comment at the bottom of this page.
- Share this post. If we get the word out to more people, hopefully we can stop this in its tracks.
Thankfully, my family has benefitted greatly from allergy shots and if they were to be discontinued, hopefully much of the positive effect would remain, but I so hope that others can still benefit from this potentially life-changing therapy and not be shut down by overreaching bureaucracy.