NHS England has secured a new deal which means that children with peanut allergies in the UK will be the first to receive a groundbreaking new treatment.
The oral treatment – named Palforzia – decreases the severity of symptoms brought on by peanut allergies, including the potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, and will soon be available to up to 600 children aged four to 17 the first year, and 2,000 the following year, thanks to the new deal.
The deal has been secured after Evelina London Children’s Hospital took part in two large peanut allergy trials – the Palisade and Artemis studies.
Both trials are said to have transformed the lives of some of its participants.
“This pioneering treatment can be life-changing for patients and their families and, thanks to the deal the NHS has struck, people here will be the first in Europe to benefit,” explained NHS Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis.
“It will reduce the fear and anxiety for patients and their families who may have been living with this allergy for years.
“And carrying around emergency medication just in case.
“They should be able to enjoy meals out or holidays abroad together without worrying about an allergic reaction that could land them in hospital or worse.”
In the UK, peanut allergies are currently said to affect one in 50 children.
The Artemis study, in particular, found that around six in 10 of the participants aged four to 17, who reacted to around 10mg of peanut protein at the start of the trial, were able to take a dose of 1,000mg by the end, which is well above the amount of accidental exposure.
As mentionted, around 600 children aged four to 17 are expected to be treated with Palforzia this year, and the after that, some 2,000 children will be treated a year.
Professor George du Toit – Children’s Allergy Consultant at Evelina London – was senior investigator for the UK for both of the trials, and has called the rollout of the treatment “great news” for children and young people with peanut allergies.
“This will make a huge impact to the everyday lives of our patients and their families,” he added.
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