FARE Strongly Endorses the ADINA Act (H.R. 4263/S. 2079)
Proposed Legislation Requires Labeling for Top 9 Allergens and Gluten in Prescription & OTC Medications
June 22, 2023 (McLean, VA) – FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the nation’s leading non-profit organization engaged in food allergy advocacy, and the largest private funder of food allergy research, strongly endorses H.R. 4263/S. 2079, the bipartisan Allergen Disclosure in Non-food Articles (ADINA) Act, introduced yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. This legislation provides the nearly 40 million Americans with either a potentially life-threatening food allergy or Celiac Disease with the information they need to ensure that they are not harmed by the very medicines that are supposed to help them.
The ADINA Act requires that all prescription and over the counter (OTC) medications detail if they contain any of the top-nine major food allergens and gluten. The most tragic example of why medicine should be labeled happened in 2019 when an 11-year-old California girl died because of using a prescription toothpaste that had dairy in it.
“I am thrilled to see the ADINA Act being introduced, as it addresses a significant gap in current laws regarding allergen labeling,” said Sung Poblete, RN, PhD, CEO of FARE. “For individuals with food allergies, medication safety is of utmost importance, and the accurate identification of allergens in pharmaceutical products can be a matter of life or death. We believe that individuals have the right to make informed decisions about the medications they consume, and the ADINA Act will provide them with the essential information needed to manage their health safely and effectively.”
A recent study found that an overwhelming 93% of all prescription and OTC medicines contain potential allergens. The often-prescribed oral steroid prednisone contains lactose, derived from milk, and is regularly given to patients following an anaphylactic attack. Lactose, furthermore, is a popular ingredient in medicine and according to this 2009 study was estimated to be used in 20% of prescriptions and 6% of OTC drugs.
This issue is personal for the bipartisan bill’s sponsor, Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN-3). One of his constituents, Adina Togal, was at overnight camp with her friends when she had a near fatal allergic reaction after taking an antibiotic with an unlisted allergen in it. Since that happened, Rep. Phillips and his office worked tirelessly on this legislation that would prevent situations like that.
“Everyone has a right to know what’s going into their body, whether it be medication or food,” said Phillips. “Without proper labeling, taking medication for a simple illness could have detrimental or even deadly side effects for people living with severe food allergies. I’m grateful Adina and her family brought this issue to my attention, and I encourage my colleagues to support the ADINA Act for a safer, healthier future for those with food allergies.”
FARE has been advocating for allergen labeling on medicine for several years and brought in advocates from all over the U.S. for this year’s Courage at Congress in March, where they were able to lobby members of Congress face to face on this and other important issues to the food allergy community. FARE’s priority is to keep our food allergic friends and family members safe and healthy at all times, and especially when taking prescription drugs and OTC medicines.
“Moving the ADINA Act forward is one of FARE's top legislative priorities,” said Jason Linde, Senior Vice President of Advocacy at FARE. “We are dedicated to advocating for individuals with food allergies and ensuring their safety and well-being and the ADINA Act plays a crucial role in that goal by enhancing allergen labeling by providing life critical information in medicines.”
We would like to thank the House Bill’s (H.R. 4263) four co-sponsors and the Senate companion bill’s (S. 2079) sponsor for their unwavering dedication and work in bringing about this life saving legislation:
• Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-3),
• Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY-17),
• Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11),
• Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8), and
• Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
FARE is proud to endorse the ADINA Act fully and encourages others to do the same. To join these advocacy efforts for this bill, you can sign up here. For the full text of this legislation, please visit here.
FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest food allergy charity supporting research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more, visit: foodallergy.org.