Medical

Indianapolis doctor: New drug, research could make peanut allergies ‘a thing of the past’

Indianapolis doctor talks about new peanut allergy drug

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The FDA has approved a first-of-its-kind drug to treat peanut allergies in kids.

“We’ve all been all eagerly anticipating the approval from the FDA for this treatment,” said Dr. Jay Jin, a pediatric allergist with Riley Hospital for Children.

The FDA approved the drug Palforzia. The medicine can be used for children ages 4 to 17.

The FDA says the medicine allows children to train their bodies to tolerate peanuts.

In the clinical trials, 2/3 of the children tested were able to eat small amounts of peanuts without having a reaction.

“That’s a huge deal that they can have a science to create a drug that can help kids and adults that are allergic to peanuts,” said Cassidy Tommas-Dolick.

“I mean, I remember some of my friends (in grade school) and we wouldn’t be able to sit with them. We would look at our lunches and it would just exclude kids. So maybe the kids will be included in stuff,” said Brock Greiwe.

While many people News 8 talked to are eager to see the drug put to use, others have some concerns.

“Is the government going to make this affordable? You know, because there are a lot of people in the United States that are living below the poverty level. So if they are going to subsidize it, are they going to make it available to those who really really need this?” said Ayodele Sunmole.

For some kids, the medicine could be the difference between life and death.

Jin says the more data, the better.

“I think as we get more and more of that information and more of that research is done, I’m hopeful that all this (peanut allergies) can be a thing of the past,” said Jin.

Doctors warn parents and children that the drug is not a cure.

The FDA says the treatment can possibly cause serious reactions and encourage parents to have an EpiPen just in case.

According to the drug’s developer, Aimmune, the drug will carry a list price of $890 per month, but they will also offer a patient assistance program that can lower the price to $20 to eligible patients.

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