Is it loaded? - Food Allergy Cartoon

Updated 4/20/12

A  Statement from Mylan Specialty: Mylan Specialty is committed to raising anaphylaxis awareness and preparedness among people directly affected by life-threatening allergies and our advertising efforts play an important role in increasing awareness. However, Mylan Specialty has heard the concerns from the allergy community about our most recent television ad, and we take them seriously.

Mylan Specialty recognizes that allergen avoidance is a critical first step to all anaphylaxis management plans and would never intentionally suggest otherwise.

Unfortunately, despite best efforts, unintentional exposure to allergens happens, and yet less than 10% of patients at risk for anaphylaxis are carrying an epinephrine auto-injector.

In light of this, the intent of our “Max’s Birthday” advertisement is to generate greater awareness for anaphylaxis and remind parents about the importance of always having an epinephrine auto-injector readily available for children at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions.

Mylan Specialty values the relationships we have built within the allergy community and appreciates the insights provided by patients, parents, physicians and advocates for those living with life-threatening allergies.

Mylan Specialty has stopped airing the ad while we make modifications to address the feedback we have received.

Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) also has sent out this statement: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) are pleased that Mylan Specialty has decided to immediately discontinue its controversial EpiPen® television ad (‘’Max’s Birthday’’). A small number of these TV ads may run over the next few days because of unavoidable scheduling issues.

Mylan Specialty’s decision followed discussions with FAAN, FAI, and other leaders within the food allergy community, who expressed concern the ad did not convey that strict avoidance of food allergens must be the first line of defense in preventing a food allergic reaction. While epinephrine auto-injectors can be life-saving in the event of a severe reaction, every effort must first be made to avoid this medical emergency. The simple fact is that until we find a cure, strict avoidance of problem foods is the only way to prevent a potentially fatal reaction.

From our conversations with Mylan Specialty, it is our understanding future EpiPen campaigns will clearly communicate this crucial information, as they have in the past, and both FAI and FAAN have offered assistance to avoid future issues. We look forward to our continued cooperation and discussions with Mylan Specialty based on our shared commitment to the food allergy community and to building awareness of the seriousness of food allergies.