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Greer Sponsors Landmark Study Analyzing the Benefits and Cost Effectiveness of Allergy Immunotherapy among Children with Allergic Rhinitis.

Study Findings Published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Provide Unique Perspective on the Benefits of Allergy Immunotherapy

LENOIR, N.C. -- Greer, a leading developer and provider of allergy immunotherapy products and services, provided a grant to BioMedEcon to conduct a retrospective study analyzing the use of allergy immunotherapy via subcutaneous injections in children with allergic rhinitis. The study analyzed Medicaid records of 520 low-income Florida children with documented allergies. According to the study, published in the January issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), the use of allergy immunotherapy delivers important clinical benefits to children and significantly reduces health care costs, even when the appropriate course of treatment is not completed.

The BioMedEcon study examined nine years of data (1997-2006) of children in the Florida Medicaid program to compare health costs for the six-month period before the initiation of immunotherapy to the six-month period following treatment discontinuation. Study authors found that allergy immunotherapy 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 average six-month savings was found to be $401 per patient in reduced costs for pharmacy claims, outpatient visits, hospital admissions and other associated costs.

"This is one of the first studies to put a dollar figure to the health care savings associated with allergy immunotherapy," says Robert Esch, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development for Greer Laboratories. "Allergic rhinitis accounts for more than $2 billion dollars in U.S. health care costs. If we can expand the use of immunotherapy, not only will we improve the lives of people with allergies, but we can also expect to see a substantial decrease in the costs associated with treating allergic rhinitis."

According to the BioMedEcon study, 39 percent of children received less than six months of immunotherapy with only 16 percent completing at least three years of treatment. Of the patient sample analyzed, the average duration of treatment was 17 months, which is far less than the generally recommended three to five year treatment course.

"Although the reasons for poor persistence were not specifically addressed in the study, it is widely believed that allergy immunotherapy presents many barriers that affect compliance," says Cheryl S. Hankin, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of BioMedEcon, LLC. "Traditional allergy injections require a commitment from patients, and in this case, their parents or guardians. One solution to improving compliance may be exploring additional methods for delivering immunotherapy that make it easier for patients of all ages to adhere to the therapy."

In the United States, allergy immunotherapy requires that patients receive clinician-administered subcutaneous injections. In contrast, allergy immunotherapy in Europe is prescribed by a physician and generally self-administered orally at home. Investigators hypothesized that innovations such as sublingual-oral immunotherapy may lead to improved acceptance of the treatment.

About BioMedEcon

Based in Moss Beach, Calif., privately-held BioMedEcon, LLC is a leading-edge provider of health economics and outcomes research. BioMedEcon applies rigorous scientific methods to create coherent, objective and practical formulary decision models, pharmaceutical and drug delivery market entry strategies, and health care policy recommendations. Clients and partners include established and emerging leaders in the pharmaceutical, biotech, drug delivery and medical device industries. For more information, call 650.563.9475 or visit http://biomedecon.com/.

About Greer

Greer is a leading developer and provider of allergy immunotherapy products and services for treating humans and animals. Greer's highly skilled scientists provide technical support for customers by continuing to focus on improving the lives of allergic patients. Greer's clinical development programs are focused on expanding the use of immunotherapy through oral administration of allergy immunotherapy. Greer's goal is to establish the efficacy of standardized products for oral administration through clinical trials. The company was founded in 1904 and is located in Lenoir, N.C. For more information, visit www.greerlabs.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 5, 2008
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