Walking the allergy tightrope

Addressing the rise of allergies and anaphylaxis in Australia
Allergies Public health Australia
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Walking the allergy tightrope 1.15 MB


Chapter 2 provides an overview of allergies and anaphylaxis in Australia. This includes definitions and prevalence levels of various allergies, the impacts and costs of allergies and anaphylaxis, theories on possible causes, and a discussion on the availability of allergy and anaphylaxis data in Australia.

Chapter 3 discusses the support and management currently available for people suffering from allergies and anaphylaxis in Australia. This includes government partnerships, access to treatment, including long waiting lists to see specialists and limited access to specialists in rural and remote Australia. Drug allergy management including drug de-labelling is discussed as well as sting allergy management.

Chapter 4 reviews the issues raised in relation to food labelling. It discusses the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code that regulates requirements for all food labelling in Australia as well as Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) and Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL). Education and training needs for allergies and anaphylaxis are discussed for various sectors including the medical sector as well as allergen management in the food service industry.

Chapter 5 outlines research funding for allergies and current clinical trials for food allergies that are available in Australia. It discusses food based oral immunotherapy (OIT) which is not yet available in Australia but is available in some overseas countries. This chapter discusses new treatments for severe eczema and alternative medicines and therapies being used for allergy treatments in Australia.

Key recommendations:

  • The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work with the states and territories to establish a National Centre for Allergies and Anaphylaxis in Australia, to ensure there is a national standardised approach to allergy management.
  • The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider providing a healthcare card to people with severe and chronic allergic conditions and a carers allowance for their carers where appropriate.
  • The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provide telehealth funding support for doctors and allied health workers in order to provide professional services and support to allergy patients in rural, regional and remote Australia.
  • The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider a Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) item number for food challenges carried out by appropriate clinicians.
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