HomeAdvocacy and research – April 2024

Advocacy and research – April 2024

April 5, 2024

Learn about our advocacy efforts around oral immunotherapy, and with the National School Food Program. Plus, find out how you can participate in a research opportunity for children with tree nut allergy involving immunotherapies.

Advocacy: Making access to treatment a priority

Last month, we asked for your insight in oral immunotherapy (OIT) to give us a better understanding of the landscape across Canada to inform our advocacy efforts.

Doctor holding in hand word Immunotherapy

Thanks to everyone who completed our survey and who spoke to us directly and shared their experiences. Your input has confirmed the following:  

  • Access to OIT is challenging across the country 
  • Other than food costs, most people indicate the cost of OIT is covered by provincial health plans except for Alberta and Ontario 
  • For those who are currently in treatment or have completed treatment, there is a high level of satisfaction with OIT, regardless of the age of the child  
  • There is a lack of treatment options for impacted adults
  • In Ontario, 50% of people who are currently in treatment indicated that their allergist has paused treatment citing issues related to provincial billing  

Next steps 

Your feedback will be incorporated into the National Food Allergy Action Plan, which is a framework to guide future policy actions for reducing the impact of food allergy and improving the quality of life for Canadians living with this medical condition.  

We will also increase our advocacy focus on access to treatment with all levels of government. Our goal is to get greater access to this treatment option and help pave the way for future options.  

Specific to the situation in Ontario, we are reaching out to the Ministry of Health in Ontario to call for a resolution to the current provincial billing issues so OIT treatments can resume.  

If you are interested in helping with our advocacy initiatives by sharing your experiences with OIT, please email us at info@foodallergycanada.ca and put “OIT advocacy” as the subject line.

Advocacy: National School Food Program and kids with food allergy

As you may have heard, the federal government recently announced the development of a National School Food Program for Canadian students across the country. This announcement comes in advance of the 2024 federal budget, and if approved, the government will commit $1 billion in funding over 5 years.

We are currently engaged in discussions with the government to ensure that food allergy is considered when defining the framework and policies that will support this program.

Stay tuned for further updates as we learn more.

Did you know? We have a national program that is focused on food allergy education to elevate the understanding that food allergy is serious and to equip others on how to support those with this medical condition. The All About Food Allergy student program provides educators with a comprehensive overview of food allergy and anaphylaxis, and how to be a food allergy ally. Designed with cross-curricular integration in mind, this ready-to-use resource checks off multiple learning outcome requirements for teachers.

Learn more and share with the educators you know. Visit foodallergycanada.ca/SchoolProgram.

Research study: Call for participation for children with tree nut allergy

A research study is underway in Hamilton, Ontario. The researchers are seeking children aged 1-16 years who have been diagnosed with tree nut allergy, specifically to cashew, pistachio, walnut, pecan, almond, or hazelnut.

The study is testing different immunotherapies to desensitize a person with tree nut allergy by repeated exposures to very small amounts of tree nut through sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) or low-dose oral immunotherapy (IdOIT). SLIT is when a food allergen is placed under the tongue and OIT is when a food allergen is eaten.

Food Allergy Canada is involved in this research through a patient/caregiver partnership where we provide input on the design of the research, review research outcomes, and ensure the patient perspective is considered. 

Click the learn more button below to read additional details about the study from the research team. To learn more about the study and if your child is eligible to participate, complete this form or email eia@mcmaster.ca.

Please share with others whose children have tree nut allergy.

Tags: , , , , ,