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Children in England will be the first in Europe to receive treatment for their peanut allergy.
An oral treatment, called Palforzia, helps to reduce the severity of symptoms including anaphylaxis, after a reaction to peanuts.
NHS England has secured a deal for the treatment, which is expected to be used to help between 600-700 children this year with around 2,000 children per year after that.
Currently, peanut allergies affect one in 50 children in the UK.
Clinical trials were conducted at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, with nine-year-old Emily Pratt being the first to benefit.
Her mother Sophie told the PA News Agency: “Being on the clinical trial has changed our whole family’s lives.
“The treatment we received has meant that Emily is free from limits and the fear that the tiniest mistake could put her life at risk, and it has removed all the tension and worry that the simple act of eating loomed over us every day.
“It was particularly noticeable at special occasions like birthdays, Christmas and on holidays where there are often special foods like cakes, ice cream and treats that invariable had warnings, ‘may contain peanuts’ or menus not in English.
“Since the trial, Emily can go to parties and playdates with confidence, eat in restaurants without us having to call ahead to check the menu, and we’ve managed to have her first holiday abroad to New York and even taken part in feeding animals at zoo experiences – which is Emily’s passion.”
What did the study find?
Two studies were conducted at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, a Palisade and Artemis study.
In the Artemis study it found that around six in 10 four to 17-year-olds who reacted to around 10g of peanut protein at the start of the trial were able to take a dose of 1,000mg of it by the end, which is well above the amount of accidental exposure.
NHS medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “This pioneering treatment can be life-changing for patients and their families and, thanks to the deal the NHS has struck, people here will be the first in Europe to benefit.
“It will reduce the fear and anxiety for patients and their families who may have been living with this allergy for years, and carrying around emergency medication just in case.
“They should be able to enjoy meals out or holidays abroad together without worrying about an allergic reaction that could land them in hospital or worse.”