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Despite Serious Allergy Burden in Kentucky, Lawmakers Considering Unpopular Restrictions to Certain Allergy Medicines

(Washington, DC- March 23, 2012) The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) released its 2012 Spring Allergy Capitals rankings this week which identifies the 100 most challenging places to live with spring allergies. News of Louisville’s ranking as #3 on the list arrives just as state lawmakers in Kentucky are considering an unpopular proposal—Senate Bill 3—that would restrict the amount of safe and effective allergy and cold medicines consumers can buy without a doctor’s prescription.

Despite the severe allergy burden in Kentucky, highlighted by AAFA’s rankings, the bill proposes to limit purchases of nonprescription medications containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) – including critical allergy medications – to only 24 grams per year per person. According to AAFA’s recent Pseudoephedrine Awareness Study (www.aafa.org/PSE), 71 percent of patients oppose legislation that would restrict access to nonprescription medicines containing PSE.

Since its founding in 1953, AAFA has been dedicated to serving the more than 60 million Americans with asthma and allergic diseases. An estimated 360,000 Kentuckians have asthma, and 561,000 have nasal allergies. According to Bill McLin, the Foundation’s President and CEO, “Meth is a terrible drug that can have a tragic impact on individuals, families and communities. While all sides of this debate are committed to winning the war on meth, we believe the proposal being considered in the Kentucky General Assembly is the wrong approach and would impose significant burdens on patients and families.”

“For Kentucky patients that suffer from chronic allergy and asthma symptoms, significant restrictions to nonprescription medicines like Claritin-D and Sudafed are a prescription mandate by another name. For many of these Kentuckians, medicines containing PSE are the only oral decongestants that work, and the only treatments that offer 12 and 24-hour relief. SB 3 would lead to unintended health consequences for these patients as their timely access to those preferred medicines is jeopardized.”

“On behalf of asthma, allergy, cold and flu patients across Kentucky, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America urges the Kentucky General Assembly to shelve SB 3 and protect patients’ access to popular and reliable cold and allergy medicines.”

About AAFA

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a nonprofit organization founded in 1953, is the leading patient organization for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions including cold, cough and flu, in the U.S., and the oldest asthma and allergy patient group in the world. AAFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people through education, advocacy and research. AAFA provides practical information, community based services and support to people through a network of regional chapters, support groups and other local partners around the United States. For more information, visit www.aafa.org. For more information about AAFA’s Spring Allergy Capitals, visit www.AllergyCapitals.com.


Liana Burns
Policy & Programs, AAFA

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