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Study Says Allergy Shots Help Children, Reduce Health Care Costs
Date:1/23/2008

BioMedEcon Study, First of its Kind in US, Finds Allergy Immunotherapy

Beneficial Even When Treatment Not Completed

MOSS BEACH, Calif., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- BioMedEcon, a leading provider of health economics and outcomes research, today announced findings of a landmark study which show allergy immunotherapy (IT) delivers important clinical benefits to children and significantly reduces health care costs, even when the appropriate course of treatment is not completed. The study of 520 low-income Florida children with allergic rhinitis found that IT was associated with significant savings across all aspects of the health care system -- inpatient, outpatient and medication treatments -- even among children who completed only a fraction of the recommended three-year treatment regimen. The study is published in the January 2008 issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI).

The BioMedEcon study, a first of its kind in the United States, examined nine years of data (1997-2006) on children in the Florida Medicaid program to compare health costs for the six-month period before the initiation of IT to the six-month period following IT discontinuation. Adherence to the treatment program was poor, with 39 percent of the children receiving less than six months of IT, and only 16 percent completing at least three years of IT. However, the study found that the benefits extended across children in the sample, with strikingly reduced numbers of hospitalizations, doctor's visits and prescription drugs following treatment.

"These findings are remarkable," said Cheryl S. Hankin, Ph.D., president and CSO of BioMedEcon, LLC. "Even though most of the children in our study had insufficient treatment duration, averaging less than half of the recommended course, their health care use and costs significantly declined following treatment. It is clear that allergy immunotherapy not only benefits children with allergic rhinitis, b
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SOURCE BioMedEcon, LLC
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