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Latest news from Food Allergy Canada – January 2017

Read on for the latest news this month including our 2017 focus, an update on McDonald’s, the new guidelines on the introduction of peanuts (including a survey link to get your feedback by Feb. 21), the AUVI-Q launch in the U.S., the winner of Allergy Friendly Food Drive Challenge and more!

2017: Our focus for this year

FAC_symbol_RGBThank you to all of you who donated to Food Allergy Canada last year. It’s because of your support, we’re able to continuously help Canadians with food allergies live confidently!

Our focus for 2017 will be on continuing to make a real impact and improve the daily quality of life for this community, including:

  • Continuing our efforts in dining out to ensure you can eat out safely – including our advocacy around McDonald’s and their vague “may contain” statement
  • Supporting youth to live confidently with food allergies and post-secondary institutions who welcome them on campuses across the country
  • Advocating for access to epinephrine
  • Helping families with newly diagnosed children get the support they need from the moment of diagnosis
  • Ensuring your voice is heard across government and industry to improve allergy awareness in key sectors (like transportation, food labelling, human rights to name a few)

We look forward to partnering with you and furthering our goal of transforming the lives of Canadians with food allergies.

New allergy-related changes at all McDonald’s® locations in Canada

McDonald's petitionAs you know, McDonald’s introduced the SKOR McFlurry and a new allergy notice on January 17, 2017. Since then, there has been overwhelming public response and media coverage on these changes.

To support this community, we posted our open letter to McDonald’s in the Globe and Mail on January 23rd, gave interviews with several media outlets, launched a petition, and continued to reach out to McDonald’s to ask them to reaffirm their commitment to you and all Canadians with food allergies.

As a result, we are meeting with John Betts, President & CEO of McDonald’s Canada, and his team in early February.

This is great news and really demonstrates the impact of this community! Thank you for your support.

Tell McDonald’s what you think of these changes

Although it’s a great first step in getting a meeting with McDonald’s, it’s more important than ever to continue showing McDonald’s how much this community really cares about this issue.

  • Please sign the petition and continue to share it with family and friends. Although thousands of people have signed the petition so far, we know these changes impact millions. We need your help to get as many people as possible to sign the petition, so McDonald’s can fully appreciate the size of this community.
  • Please donate to keep this public campaign in the forefront.
  • Keep reaching out to McDonald’s to let them know what this means to you and your family. Contact them by phone at 1-888-424-4622, complete the contact form on mcdonalds.ca, post about it on their social media, or write them a letter. Click here for tips on what to include in your letter to McDonald’s.
  • Keep us in the loop and let us know if you have reached out to McDonald’s and what your feedback to them has been on this very important issue. You can email us at info@foodallergycanada.ca, using the subject line “My feedback to McDonald’s”.

Thank you. Your voice is making a difference.

New survey: Tell us what you think about the new guidelines on the introduction of peanuts to babies

early-introAs you know, new guidelines for the introduction of peanut to babies were released at the beginning of January by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). These guidelines are a positive step forward in preventing the development of peanut allergy. Read more about the guidelines.

We want to thank everyone for their comments and for sharing their experiences about this topic. We really appreciate the feedback.

Since then, we’ve had a chance to speak with several allergists on the new guidelines, and we will be working with them to develop answers to the most common questions. To help us compile the list of questions, we want your feedback through a short survey. Based on these common questions/concerns, we’ll be developing a question/answer sheet and a webinar, which will be hosted by a Canadian allergist.

Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NewGuidelines

The survey closes on February 21, 2017.  Your responses will be anonymous and only aggregate information will be shared with the allergists.

Thank you and stay tuned for details on the upcoming webinar!

AUVI-Q (known as Allerject in Canada) is returning to the U.S. on February 14th, 2017

auvi-qKaléo, a privately held pharmaceutical company in the U.S., announced that AUVI-Q will be available by prescription in the U.S. starting February 14.

They also announced the list price for insurance companies is $4,500 for a two-pack of the devices with a trainer (approximately 7x the list price for Mylan’s branded EpiPen two pack). However, consumers will not pay that price with their AUVI-Q AffordAbility access program, noted as follows:

  • Americans with commercial insurance, including those with high-deductible plans, will be able to obtain AUVI-Q for $0 out-of-pocket.
  • AUVI-Q will be available free of charge to American patients with a household income of less than $100,000 who do not have government or commercial insurance.
  • The cash price for AUVI-Q is $360 for a two-pack of the devices, and will be available to those patients without government or commercial insurance.

There is no news yet on if and when the product will launch in Canada. Read Kaleo’s press release to learn more about their U.S. launch. You can also read two articles that go into further detail about their pricing: Allergic Living and CNBC (which also has a video clip).

Congratulations to Secord Elementary School – the winners of the 2016 Allergy Friendly Food Drive Challenge!

secord elementary1
Alex speaks to the students at Secord Elementary School

Secord Elementary School in Toronto, Ontario has won the 2016 Allergy Friendly Food Drive Challenge and has received the grand prize of 15 iPad Air2 tablets. They also met with Canadian hall-of-fame racecar driver Alex Tagliani at their school!

We launched the Allergy Friendly Food Drive Challenge last fall as part of our Summer of TAG program with Alex. Through this joint initiative and with the support of Pfizer Canada (Canadian distributor of EpiPen®), thousands of Canadians from coast-to-coast were reached to help promote food allergy awareness and safety.

We were thrilled that so many schools from across the country participated in this initiative and helped to raise allergy awareness in schools, while helping their local communities with much-needed food donations during this past holiday season.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Tips to keep safe.

Staying safe on Valentine’s Day can be tricky at any age — but it can be particularly difficult for children with food allergies as chocolates, candies and other food treats are given freely as expressions of love.

Check out our tips for staying safe around any holiday. Also, read this great blog entry from our Adults with Allergies Blog about navigating Valentine’s Day as an adult.