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Information updates

Travel information for people at risk of anaphylaxis

July 20, 2017:  

The recent report of a child having an allergic reaction on a flight who required treatment with adrenaline has highlighted the need for planning ahead when travelling with allergies.

The ASCIA travel plan and checklist have been developed to assist passengers at risk of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) who need to carry adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors (e.g. EpiPen®) on airline flights.  The ASCIA travel plan should be used in conjunction with an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (personal) and both plans need to be completed by a medical or nurse practitioner.

ASCIA travel plans, action plans, checklists and other resources are available at www.allergy.org.au/anaphylaxis

Other travel information for people at risk of anaphylaxis is available from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia at www.allergyfacts.org.au/allergy-management/risk/travelling-with-allergies 

New National Allergy Strategy free online training for food service

July 17, 2017

NAS Food Service Training All about AllergensIn response to engagement with key stakeholders in the food service industry, a free online training course that includes videos and interactive activities has been launched today by the National Allergy Strategy, a partnership between Australia’s peak allergy bodies, ASCIA and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA).

The course provides training that is fast, easy and freely available at www.foodallergytraining.org,au  

The comprehensive course includes information about:

  • Managing orders and responding to customers who disclose a food allergy.
  • Minimising the risk of cross-contamination.
  • What to do if a customer experiences an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis (the most severe form of allergic reaction).

A community education website www.foodallergyeducation.org.au has also been developed for people with food allergy and their carers.

NAS Food Allergy education Home

ASCIA 2017 registration and abstract submission deadline extended to 28 July 2017

July 14, 2017

The ASCIA 2017 Conference abstract submission and early bird registration deadline has been extended until midday AEST on Friday 28 July 2017.

Please note that no further deadline extensions will be possible, as we need to allow time to publish abstracts on the ASCIA 2017 APP and online in the Internal Medicine Journal, prior to the conference.

Go to www.ascia2017.com.au/call-for-abstracts/  to submit a poster or CGR abstract.

Go to www.ascia2017.com.au/registration/ to register for the ASCIA 2017 Conference, ASCIA-ANZAAG Drug hypersensitivity Symposium, CFAR Symposium, Nurse and Dietitian Updates and Dietitians Workshop.

Go to www.ascia2017.com.au for more information.

With an outstanding program featuring 8 international speakers and a venue located on the spectacular Waitematā Harbour in Auckland, the ASCIA 2017 conference will be a highlight of the year for ASCIA members and other health professionals with an interest in allergy and clinical immunology. 

New National Allergy Strategy ‘250K’ website for teens and young adults

June 26, 2017

250K image for news2

The new National Allergy Strategy youth project’s 250K website was launched today by Minister Gillespie.

The 250K website is a hub for the 250,000 young Australians living with severe allergies, developed in response to a national online survey and focus groups sessions with teens and young adults.

Designed by young people for young people, the aim of this innovative website is to provide age-appropriate information and resources in a fun and informative way, to assist young people who are living with severe allergies, and to help them to feel more connected with other teens and young adults going through similar experiences.

A 250K slide set is also available at www.allergy.org.au/schools-childcare#slides, that schools can access to help increase awareness about severe allergies. To access the website go to www.250K.org.au 

National Allergy Strategy funding announcement

June 26, 2017

It is a pleasure to advise that the National Allergy Strategy has been successful in receiving $1 million of funding over the next two years from the Australian Government

This funding will be used to implement a national allergy prevention program. Minister Gillespie publicly announced the funding today at the launch of the National Allergy Strategy youth project’s new 250K website.

Bee venom immunotherapy update

June 14, 2017:  

Following the previous communication earlier this year from Stallergenes Greer regarding the shortage of ALBEY honey bee venom 550mcg, the US/Canadian approved 550mcg-concentrated Hymenoptera honey bee venom freeze-dried powder has been authorised for supply under S19A (1), of the Therapeutic Goods Act as an alternative for Australian patients.

Therefore Hymenoptera 550mcg honey bee venom product can now be ordered as an alternative option for ALBEY honey bee Venom 550mcg.

The same PBS code 10621B will apply, which was previously used for Hymenoptera honey bee venom. PBS reimbursement will be effective from 1st July 2017. Any prescription written before 1st July will not be eligible for PBS subsidy. 

For more information go to www.allergy.org.au/members/allergen-immunotherapy-information 

3 second EpiPen®s are now available

June 13, 2017:

EpiPen® and EpiPen®Jr adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors with the 3 second label will start to enter pharmacies in Australia and New Zealand from 13 June 2017 onwards. 

The devices have not changed, just the instructions on the label, which now include:

  • Reduced injection time from 10 to 3 seconds – this is based on research confirming efficacy and delivery of adrenaline through the 3 second delivery.
  • Removal of the massage step after the injection – this has been found to reduce the risk of tissue irritation.

Whilst it is important that anyone who requires anaphylaxis training (including school and early childhood education/care staff) are aware of the changes, there is no need for immediate re-training on the 3 second EpiPen®.

EpiPen®s with a 10 second label can continue to be used and should not be replaced unless they have been used, are just about to expire or have expired.  

All EpiPen®s should now be held in place for 3 seconds, regardless of the instructions on the label.  However, if they are held for 10 seconds it will not affect the way that the adrenaline works. 

To access updated ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis, ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training courses, the 3 second EpiPen® training video and other resources go to www.allergy.org.au/anaphylaxis  


ASCIA 2017 Conference registration and abstract submission now open

June 1, 2017

With an outstanding program featuring 8 international speakers and a venue located on the spectacular Waitematā Harbour in Auckland, this conference is sure to be a highlight of the year for ASCIA members and other health professionals with an interest in allergy and clinical immunology.

Please note that the deadline for abstract submission and discounted earlybird registration is Friday 14 July 2017.

To register go to www.ascia2017.com.au/registration 

To submit a poster or CGR abstract go to www.ascia2017.com.au/call-for-abstracts

To view the program go to www.ascia2017.com.au/preliminary-program 

For other information about the conference go to www.ascia2017.com.au 

For information on what to see and do in New Zealand (pre or post conference) visit www.newzealand.com/au/ 


FSANZ adds lupin to mandatory allergen labelling list

May 31, 2017

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has added lupin to the list of 9 allergens that must be declared on food labels, following consideration by ministers responsible for food regulation. Food businesses have 12 months from 25 May 2017 to meet the requirements.

The 10 foods or ingredients that must be declared are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sesame seeds, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat and now lupin. These ingredients must be declared on the food label whenever they are present as ingredients or as components of food additives or processing aids. 

FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said lupin (which like soy and peanut has the potential to be an allergen) has been recognised as a significant allergen in the European Union food regulations since 2007.  “Historically, most of the Australian sweet lupin crop has been used for animal feed or exported. However, because of its high protein and fibre content, lupin is increasingly being used in food for people.  Due to the increase in use in food and some cases of allergic response, FSANZ decided lupin should be one of the allergens requiring mandatory declaration.

Australian peanut allergy treatment receives $10 million in funding

May 29, 2017

The development of a promising new treatment for peanut allergy in children will be the first project to receive $10 million in funding under the Turnbull Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF). 

The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, and the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos has announced the first investment commitment under the BTF. The BTF combines $250 million of Commonwealth funding to be at least matched by private capital secured by independent licensed fund managers to realise a substantial $500 million fund. 

The purpose of this fund is to invest in Australian biomedical ideas with great potential for commercialisation. “The BTF is designed to change and improve the lives of Australians. This innovative solution to a lethal allergy experienced by so many kids and their parents in Australia and around the world has resulted from the great collaborative efforts of Professor Mimi Tang at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Prota Therapeutics,” Minister Hunt said.

ASCIA congratulates Professor Mimi Tang and her team on this wonderful news!

For further information go to www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2017-hunt055.htm

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