The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially approved the first drug for treatment of peanut allergies: Palforzia!
The peanut allergy is the most common food allergy among children. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous. One out of four children with this allergy are sent to the ER for treatment a year.
So now that Palforzia has been approved, what are food allergy patients supposed to think?
Palforzia (peanut flour in a capsule) is intended for use as oral immunotherapy (OIT) for 4 to 17 year-olds with a peanut allergy diagnosis. Basically, Palforzia is a powder that’s made from peanuts. Throughout treatment, it’s gradually mixed in semisolid foods like apple sauce or yogurt.
Although it does not cure the allergy, it could help mitigate allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, that can occur with accidental exposure to peanuts.
Does Palforzia Cure Peanut Allergies?
Palforzia does not cure peanut allergies. It will only ease the effects of exposure on peanut allergy patients. Essentially, it’s all about decreasing the risk of allergic reactions.
Those who take Palforzia must continue to avoid peanuts in their diets.
The goal is to be slowly desensitized to 300 mg of peanut protein, or about one peanut, with the help of an allergist. Studies have shown than 67.2% of Palforzia patients could tolerate the oral challenge of two peanuts.
How Much Will it Cost?
The list price for the treatment has been set at $890 per month or $11,000 per year, with the potential for a copay assistance program. This will not cover office visits for administration of the product in a safe environment.
Obviously, the cost per patient will depend on their insurance plan.
When Will Palforzia Be Available?
We don’t know when exactly Palforzia will be available for purchase. However, it will most likely be by March of 2020.
What Mid-Island Allergy is Doing:
Some specialized allergy offices, like Mid Island Allergy Group, are already practicing OIT, or desensitization, to peanut and other foods in children as young as 6 months of age. We’re using real peanuts and peanut products like peanut butter or Bamba for maximum results.
We gradually increase the daily intake to a goal of 3-8 peanuts. Then after a few months, most patients are able to pass a challenge to three times that amount. Ultimately, this gives them the confidence to encounter peanuts.
How Can I Find Out More?
If you have any more questions about Palforzia or allergy treatment, call Mid-Island Allergy Group to make an appointment now!