By Dr. Paul Ehrlich
I noticed in our “News” page here at AsthmaAllergiesChildren (AAC for short) that the United Kingdom has included in its “market basket” ( a consumer cost-of-living measurement) a bottle of allergy medication. As a physician I spent some time in London in the 70’s, and over the years since I have followed changes in English medical practice, particularly regarding my own specialty. When a New York patient went to London to work for a bank, he informed me that English doctors have stopped immunotherapy (allergy injections) because some people were reacting to the shots in undesirable ways. I’m sure that the rates there were no higher than they are here, and that they were helping lots more people than they were hurting, but whoever decides these things on behalf of the National Health Services was convinced they weren’t worth it. I disagree.
Still, I am pleased to see that the 20% of the UK population who have allergic disorders are treating themselves to the extent that allergy medication would be included in the market basket. Allergies and asthma are becoming more pervasive, and maybe specialty treatment will make a comeback. By the way, garlic bread is also new to the list, while lipstick is gone.