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Inadequate health insurance coverage: A major factor in premature discontinuation of subcutaneous immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis

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April 1, 2011
by Ravi Vaswani, BS, Yi-Chun Carol Liu, MD, Leena Parikh, MD, and Surender Vaswani, MD


We conducted a study of 155 patients with allergic rhinitis who prematurely discontinued subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy to determine the reasons for their discontinuation. The most commonly cited factor, which was cited by 62 patients (40.0%), was the issue of cost-specifically, inadequate or nonexistent insurance coverage. Studies have shown that subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy is more cost-effective than pharmacologic treatment for patients with allergic rhinitis. Therefore, improved insurance coverage for this treatment of proven efficacy would not only improve quality of life, it would also be economically beneficial to the health care system in general.

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