4 Spring Allergy Findings Pharmacy Techs Should Know

APRIL 28, 2016
Ryan Marotta, Assistant Editor
With spring in full bloom, many are celebrating the blossoming flora, but others are lamenting the yearly onset of their seasonal allergies.

Pharmacy technicians looking to stay updated on the latest allergy research should read about the following study results:
1. Prescription Drugs Are Underutilized by Allergy Sufferers
Many individuals with seasonal allergies prefer to treat the condition with prescription medications, but a number of these patients ultimately choose to manage their symptoms with OTC products.
Researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) recently conducted a survey of 501 children aged 12 to 17 years and 500 adults, all of whom had some degree of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Specifically, 45% of patients with spring allergies described their symptoms as moderate, while 38% reported severe symptoms.
Although 62% of participants said they usually use OTC oral medications to manage their allergies, the researchers found that only one-third of these patients were very or extremely satisfied with the products. Comparatively, about half of respondents were very or extremely satisfied with their prescribed allergy treatments, despite the fact that they weren’t necessarily receiving prescriptions for the drugs on a regular basis.
The study authors noted that many health care plans don’t cover allergy prescriptions unless a patient has tried OTC medications first, which often delays or even prevents allergist involvement and prescription treatment.
The results of the survey were presented at the ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting.