A Statement from the CEO of FARE

09/07/2016

FARE is an independent, nonprofit organization that works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies.  FARE has long been an advocate for the food allergy community, driving critical food allergy research, supporting the development of new treatments and working to eliminate barriers to epinephrine, the only drug proven to treat anaphylaxis. Our mission is to improve the quality of life and health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments.

We are proud of the role we played, alongside thousands of advocates nationwide, to expand access to epinephrine in schools and public places. Independent data has shown that these devices have saved lives of both diagnosed and undiagnosed food allergic children. 

The recent concerns raised about epinephrine pricing practices have led to questions on FARE’s relationship with commercial organizations. As CEO of FARE I think it's important to address these questions.

The current situation relative to epinephrine auto-injectors has given us pause. FARE is committed to leading the charge for improving access and affordability to lifesaving drugs like epinephrine, while promoting competition and innovation in the market. To do this, we must build new relationships with partners and policymakers who share our desire to truly put patients first. FARE views a single child’s injury or death because they cannot afford an auto-injector as a preventable tragedy.  We have therefore decided that until meaningful competition exists in the epinephrine auto-injector space we will no longer accept donations from companies marketing these devices.

The work we do relies largely on contributions from people who share our passion for making a difference.  More than 90 percent of our budget comes from individual donors and foundations.  Of the 10 percent from commercial sponsors, which include food, health and pharmaceutical companies, less than 6 percent is from pharmaceutical companies. FARE has always been rigorous about its relationships with commercial sponsors and donations are only accepted for programs that have been initiated by FARE for the direct benefit of the food allergy community.  This commercial support has helped provide for several important activities at FARE including the printing of FARE’s Food Allergy Field Guide, which is an important resource for newly diagnosed patients and their families, the FARE Walk for Food Allergy and our annual conferences that bring together the food allergy community to address patients’ and families’ needs for education and support. Commercial support helped make these vital programs possible. 

Importantly, no commercial sponsor is involved in setting FARE’s priorities nor are they represented on our Board.  The total funding from all commercial sources currently supports more than 50 walks, education, and awareness activities.  FARE has never accepted funds from any commercial source for overhead or operations. Other than publicly acknowledging commercial entities as sponsors, we do not provide marketing opportunities or give them information about our membership. We also have avoided any situation that would even suggest a conflict of interest or detract from our function as the leading food allergy patient advocate. In the past year we rejected more than $200,000 in donations for activities that we felt were not consistent with our advocate role.

At this crucial time when two children in every classroom have a food allergy, we must accelerate discovery of new treatments for food allergies that prevent anaphylaxis while continuing to ensure access to live-saving epinephrine.  FARE is committed to leading this conversation to improve the life and health of individuals with food allergies and give them hope through new research.

James Baker Signature
James R. Baker, Jr., MD
Chief Executive Officer

ABOUT FARE

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. Our work is organized around three core tenets: LIFE – support the ability of individuals with food allergies to live safe, productive lives with the respect of others through our education and advocacy initiatives; HEALTH – enhance the healthcare access of individuals with food allergies to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment; and HOPE – encourage and fund research in both industry and academia that promises new therapies to improve the allergic condition. For more information, please visit www.foodallergy.org and find us on Twitter@FoodAllergy, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.

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