New study shows most Canadians not prepared for potentially fatal allergic reactions

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 21 /CNW/ - A new national survey shows that the
majority of Canadians at risk for a severe, potentially fatal allergic
reaction do not carry their life-saving medication with them. Worse yet, most
Canadians would not know what to do in the event of someone having a
potentially fatal allergic attack, known as anaphylaxis.
    The new survey of 1,502 Canadians commissioned by King Pharmaceuticals,
in collaboration with Anaphylaxis Canada, reveals that only one in five
Canadians at risk for an anaphylactic attack remember to carry an epinephrine
auto-injector with them at all times. An injection of epinephrine is the
definitive treatment for someone experiencing an anaphylactic attack, which
can be fatal in minutes if untreated. Additionally, while 97 percent of
Canadians are aware that an allergic reaction can kill someone, only
45 percent would know how to treat someone having an allergic reaction by
administering a life-saving dose of epinephrine using an emergency
auto-injector such as the EpiPen(R) auto-injector (epinephrine injection).
    "The results of this survey emphasize the need to educate Canadians about
life-threatening allergies and how we can all work together as a community to
protect the safety of people who are at risk," says Laurie Harada, Executive
Director, Anaphylaxis Canada. "Since it is often difficult for people to avoid
exposure to different allergens, it is important to make sure that an allergic
person's family, friends, and teachers are educated about their allergies.
These people should be ready to assist in the event of an emergency."
Approximately 600,000 Canadians (or 1 percent to 2 percent) are estimated to
have allergic sensitivities, placing them at risk for anaphylaxis, although
some experts believe that this incidence rate could be understated. The most
common triggers for anaphylaxis include foods, insect stings, drugs, latex and
    People experiencing anaphylaxis should use an epinephrine auto-injector
at the earliest signs of reaction and then call 911 or be taken to an
emergency room. According to the study, 35 percent of respondents say they or
someone they know has suffered from an anaphylactic reaction.
    "If untreated, anaphylaxis can be fatal within minutes, therefore it is
vital that individuals with severe allergies carry an up-to-date epinephrine
auto-injector at all times," says Dr. Rhoda Kagan, Pediatric Allergist, North
York General Hospital. "In a critical situation where someone is experiencing
an anaphylactic reaction, simplicity matters and EpiPen auto-injectors are
designed for easy self administration. When administered at the first signs of
anaphylaxis, EpiPen auto-injectors can provide individuals the time necessary
to obtain more definitive emergency treatment."


    -   75 percent of Canadians think peanuts can cause a more serious
        allergic reaction than milk, when in fact they both can cause a
        serious reaction.

    -   60 percent of Canadians support a peanut ban in schools and child
        care centres, but only 27 percent support a peanut ban in all public
        places. Peanut allergy is the most common cause of death from food
        allergy, in addition to shellfish, fish and tree nuts.

    -   Half of Canadians think the food industry is doing a good job of
        declaring dangerous allergens on package label.

    -   Half of Canadians agree that child care centres should be held
        responsible if they don't carry an epinephrine auto-injector and a
        child on their premises has a severe allergic reaction.

    -   One in four survey respondents think public places should be held
        responsible if they don't carry EpiPen and someone on their premises
        has a severe allergic reaction.

    -   7 out of 10 Canadians agree that restaurants and cafeterias should be
        required to list all ingredients on their menu products, even if it
        costs diners more.

    About EpiPen

    EpiPen (epinephrine) Auto-Injector 0.3/0.15 mg is indicated for emergency
treatment of allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). Such emergencies may occur
spontaneously or from insect stings, bites, foods, drugs, or other allergens,
as well as idiopathic or exercise induced anaphylaxis. How Supplied: EpiPen
and EpiPen Jr. auto-injectors are available in single cartons. Further
information can be found at
    EpiPen should be used with extreme caution in people who have heart
disease. Side effects of EpiPen may include fast or irregular heartbeat,
nausea, and breathing difficulty. Certain side effects may be increased if
EpiPen is used while taking tricyclic antidepressants or monoamine oxidase
inhibitors. The EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. are designed as emergency supportive
therapy only and are not a replacement or substitute for immediate medical or
hospital care.


    King, with offices in Mississauga, Ontario and headquartered in Bristol,
Tennessee, is a vertically integrated branded pharmaceutical company. King, an
S&P 500 Index company, seeks to capitalize on opportunities in the
pharmaceutical industry through the development, including through
in-licensing arrangements and acquisitions, of novel branded prescription
pharmaceutical products in attractive markets and the strategic acquisition of
branded products that can benefit from focused promotion and marketing and
product life-cycle management.


    Anaphylaxis Canada is a non-profit organization created by and for people
with anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis Canada's mission is to inform, support, educate,
and advocate for the needs of individuals and families living with anaphylaxis
and to conduct and support research related to anaphylaxis.


    The Leger study was commissioned by King Pharmaceuticals, maker of EpiPen
(epinephrine auto-injector), and in collaboration with Anaphylaxis Canada.
Data collection for this study was conducted via Leger Marketing OmniCan. Data
was collected between May 29 and June 3, 2007. A random household selection
was achieved by inviting residents across Canada over 18 years of age to
complete the survey. A total of 1,502 interviews were completed. The margin of
error for a sample of this size is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Media requiring further information, high
resolution product images or interviews, please contact: Saskia Brussaard,
Katarina Markovinovic, Porter Novelli, (416) 422-7176, (416) 422-7187,,;
In Western Canada: Julie Coghlan, (604) 602-6401,

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