Socastee allergist says there’s ‘a lot of uncertainty’ with proposed peanut allergy vaccine


SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW) – A peanut allergy could be the first of its kind to be FDA-approved soon for those who deal with the life-threatening allergy to peanuts.

Dr. Mark Schecker at Coastal Carolina Allergy and Asthma, an affiliate of Grand Strand Health, says he sees many patients along the Grand Strand with the peanut allergy, but as of now it’s up in the air as to whether or not this new treatment would be worth it.

“A lot of the details are still up in the air,” he said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty about how this product is going to roll out.”

The treatment would desensitize patients to peanuts by giving them a small dose of peanut protein gradually, but wouldn’t cure the allergy.

Dr. Schecker says he sees many patients along the Grand Strand with the peanut allergy because it is the most common allergy and it’s on the rise.

“Peanut allergy is very prevalent among children,” he said. “Probably about somewhere between one and a half to two percent of children have peanut allergy now.”

He says for some parents who live in fear that their child could go into anaphylaxis or die from the allergy, that this treatment, taken for the rest of their lives, may be worth it.

“They do have a very high level of anxiety because the only treatments right now that are available for this type of allergy is to avoid it completely and carry an EpiPen,” Dr. Schecker said.

But, he says the treatment would require you to bring your child to the doctor often to be monitored.

Plus, you have to make sure your child doesn’t do anything to increase their body temperature after taking the vaccine, because it could increase their chances of having a reaction.

“If this treatment is approved, I believe it will be just scratching the surface,” said Dr. Schecker. “They’ll be others that will be coming up behind it. They may be more effective, we don’t know yet.”

Dr. Schecker says the cost of the treatment, nearly $4,200 a year, is another factor to consider.

The CEO of Aimmune Therapeutics, the company that created the treatment, sent News13 a statement discussing the treatment’s cost soon after the story aired.

Although there has been some speculation regarding the cost of PALFORZIA, Aimmune has not yet established a price and will not do so until after a potential FDA approval. Aimmune’s overall goal will be to ensure that affordability is not an obstacle for any eligible patients regardless of insurance or financial status. The company intends to price PALFORZIA to reflect its value as a clinically-proven, rigorously-developed biologic oral immunotherapy treatment and we will work closely with payers to achieve our goal of achieving access for eligible patients.

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