#NationalPenicillinAllergyDay Increases Awareness of Penicillin Allergy For Second Year

Health organizations across the U.S. are recognizing September 28th
as National Penicillin Allergy Day to educate the public on
the allergy and emphasize the effects of wide-spread antibiotic use

ROUND ROCK, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#NPAD2018–September 28, 2018 is recognized by several states and health
organizations as the second-annual National Penicillin Allergy Day, a
national awareness day to help spread the word and educate the community
on penicillin allergies and testing. This date holds significance in the
medical industry and antibiotic community as the date Alexander Fleming
discovered penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic, in 1928.

Penicillin allergy is one of the most frequently reported allergies;
however, nine out of 10 patients reporting a penicillin
allergy are not truly allergic,1 which can lead to higher use
of broad-spectrum antibiotics and an increased risk of adverse events
for patients2. Inaccurately labeling patients as penicillin
allergic is, therefore, recognized as a significant public health
problem—and it is important for patients and providers to know the facts
about penicillin allergies to help combat the rise of antibiotic
resistance.

“We are eager to continue spreading critical awareness around penicillin
allergies with the second annual National Penicillin Allergy Day,” said
Jorge Alderete, President ALK, Inc. “Together we can assist communities
in educating patients, healthcare providers and others on the importance
of proper diagnosis, the facts about penicillin allergy prevalence, and
the risks associated with an unverified diagnosis. With proper diagnosis
and hospital antibiotic stewardship efforts, health providers and
patients can reduce the use of alternative antibiotics. These
alternative antibiotics, when used unnecessarily, can lead to higher
treatment costs and stronger antibiotic drug resistance.”

Several national organizations have joined efforts to help educate and
bring awareness to penicillin allergy and the importance of testing.

“It’s vital that doctors understand the importance of confirming
penicillin allergy, but it’s even more critical that those who carry the
label be tested by an allergist or other healthcare provider trained in
allergy testing to be sure,” said allergist Bradley Chipps, MD,
president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “An
allergist or other healthcare provider can work with a patient to find
out if they are truly allergic and determine the best medications
available for treatment. Patients who are found not allergic will be
able to use medications that are safer, often more effective, and less
expensive.”

“Many studies establish that the majority of individuals labeled as
penicillin allergic actually are not truly allergic to penicillin (and
other members of this family of antibiotics). There are proven methods
to rule out penicillin allergy and doing so in these individuals would
allow optimizing the choice of antibiotics among those who are
demonstrated not to be allergic. This day is a great way to spread the
word, help ensure that patients have access to the safest possible
antibiotic and work to address the increasing emergence of antibiotic
resistance,” said Dr. Robert Wood, MD FAAAAI, President of the American
Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

If interested in receiving penicillin skin testing or administering it
in your facility, a healthcare provider trained in penicillin allergy
assessment can discuss the risks and benefits of testing.

“Our organization has seen a variety of positive changes in patient care
since implementing our antibiotic stewardship program,” said Dr. Bruce
Jones, Pharm.D.,BCPS, of St. Joseph’s Hospital “We have found that more
than half of our patients claiming to have a penicillin allergy were
classified as “unknown” as to whether they truly had the allergy. Thanks
to our program and increased testing, we have been able to educate our
patients and staff, decrease patients’ length of stay in our facility,
and save roughly $315 per every de-labeled patient.”

To learn more about National Penicillin Allergy Day and take action in
your community, visit us at www.nationalpenicillinallergyday.com.

1. Macy, E., & Contreras, R. (2014). Health care use and serious
infection prevalence associated with penicillin “allergy” in
hospitalized patients: a cohort study. Journal of Allergy and
Clinical Immunology
133(3), 790-796.
2.
Blumenthal, Kimberly. Fortune Favors the Bold: Give a Beta-Lactam!
Clinical infectious Diseases Advance Access. 2016 July.

Contacts

MERGE Atlanta
Katelyn Lewis, 770-576-2543
klewis@mergeworld.com