Information updates

ASCIA 2021 Virtual Conference Update

Welcome to the ASCIA 2021 Virtual Conference which runs from Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd September. We now have over 600 registered delegates, making this the largest ever ASCIA Conference and the major educational event for ASCIA members in 2021. 

To view the Program Book go to https://ascia2021.com/program.php 

If you have not yet registered go to https://ascia2021.com/registration.php

The ASCIA 2021 Conference provides registered delegates with access to:

  • An international standard of continuing professional development and medical education (CPD/CME) in our own time zones.
  • Presentations by 58 speakers in the main program (including 12 international experts - see PROGRAM UPDATES below), 31 presenters in 17 sponsored sessions, 19 Clinical Grand Round (CGR) case presenters, 71 poster presenters, 11 AIFA research grant recipients and 9 CFAR food allergy research ‘hot publication’ authors.
  • Concurrent programs for Nurses, Dietitians and Associate Medical Days on Friday.
  • An interactive program that allows delegates to submit questions online during live Q&A sessions.
  • Video recordings of all sessions on the ASCIA 2021 Conference platform, available until 3rd December 2021.
  • The 3D exhibition hall, to request updates about products, other information and samples from exhibitors.

The reasonably priced registration fees provide delegates with exceptional value, which is possible due to the support from ASCIA 2021 Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors.

PROGRAM UPDATES:

  • Prof Tari Haahtela (Finland) will now be presenting on Biodiversity Exposure and Allergy Prevention as a keynote speaker in the CFAR Symposium, in place of Prof Antonella Muraro (Italy), who was unfortunately unable to present. Prof Haahtela’s presentation on this topic was a highlight of the recent EAACI 2021 Hybrid Congress program.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic - Where have we come from, where are we going and what have we learnt? dinner meeting presentation by Dr Norman Swan on the evening of Thursday 2nd September will now include live online Q&A, to reflect the rapidly changing situation with the pandemic.
  • Sponsored Session presenters and chairs are now included on pages 10-11 in the Program Book.
  • Dinner Meetings planned for Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney have been postponed due to lockdowns in these cities. Future dates will be advised once restrictions are lifted.

We take this opportunity to acknowledge the very challenging situation for everyone affected by current COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns in Australia and New Zealand. This includes:

  • More than two thirds of ASCIA 2021 Conference speakers, chairs, delegates, sponsors and exhibitors who are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
  • ASCIA and ICMSA staff who have organised the Conference, and are based in Sydney and Melbourne.

Lockdown fatigue is an ongoing issue and we hope that the ASCIA 2021 Conference helps to provide you with a welcome change in routine, as well as an outstanding program.

Please refer to the Program Book https://ascia2021.com/program.php for more details about presentations by:

  • 58 speakers in the main program, including 12 international experts (pages 4-8)
  • 11 AIFA research grant recipients (page 9)
  • 31 presenters in 17 sponsored sessions (pages 10-11)
  • 19 Clinical Grand Round (CGR) case presenters (pages 12-13)
  • 71 poster presenters (pages 14-20)
  • 9 CFAR hot publication (food allergy research) authors (pages 21-22)

We look forward to your participation in the ASCIA 2021 Virtual Conference.

RACP Awards and Medals

The annual awards for outstanding contributions made by members of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians are of special importance. They are highly valued for their prestige and are an acknowledgment from peers and colleagues of achievements which might not otherwise be publicly recognised. Nominations for the following prestigious Awards close on Tuesday, 14 September 2021.

  • John Sands Medal for significant contribution to the welfare of the College
  • College Medal -“hominum servire saluti” for significant contribution to medical practice, healthcare and health of the people/community
  • RACP International Medal
  • RACP Medal for Clinical Services in Rural and Remote Areas
  • Mentor of the Year Award
  • Trainee of the Year Award

The presentations of these awards are made at the RACP Convocation Ceremony or RACP Congress 2022.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation website or email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
with enquiries.

Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal 

The Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal is only awarded by the RACP every five years in recognition of an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of medicine. The award is open to both RACP Fellows as well as non-members of the College. However, the nominee must be nominated by a Fellow of the RACP to be considered.

Details regarding the application process and selection criteria are available on the website. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

MyEpiPen® Patient Support Program

Australia’s 35,000-member EpiClub® program has been revamped and rebranded by Viatris (formerly Mylan) as the MyEpiPen® Patient Support Program.

Benefits for patients who join MyEpiPen® include:

  • Free EpiPen® trainer devices
  • Email and SMS reminder service for patients before their EpiPen® adrenaline (epinephrine) Auto-Injector devices expire.
  • ‘How to use’ cards to keep at home and share with others.
  • Video explainers in 26 languages that are appropriate for new patients and as refreshers for experienced patients.
  • Real-world patient videos in which parents and patients describe their experiences with using EpiPen® for first aid.
  • Evidence-based information to help people understand more about anaphylaxis and their EpiPen® Auto-Injectors.
  • Regular newsletters to keep patients up to date with relevant information.
  • Evidence-based information to help people understand more about anaphylaxis and their EpiPen® Auto-Injectors, with links to ASCIA anaphylaxis resources, such as the EpiPen® version of the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis.
  • MyEpiPen® Welcome Kits which include the bag tag and wallet card that were developed by ASCIA after liaising with the team at Viatris. 

To access MyEpiPen® go to https://www.myepipen.com.au/

Patients in New Zealand are currently on a separate EpiClub® NZ site, and will transition to  MyEpiPen® in the near future.

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Anapen® Patient Support

ANAPEN® 150, 300 and 500 adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors are now available in Australia on the PBS as of 1st September 2021 in Australia. 

ANAPEN® is being made available by Allergy Concepts, which has partnered with Arrotex to ensure widespread availability in pharmacies across Australia.  

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request further information and supply of an ANAPEN® Trainer for demonstrating how to use the device. 

Allergy Concepts has aligned itself with several organisations to offer patient support services, which include:

  • Free ANAPEN® trainers available on demand from treating doctors.
  • ANAPEN® trainers available via Allergy Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) and local pharmacies.
  • Free pharmacy support at participating pharmacies that can be located using https://anapen.pharmaprograms.com.au/locator/

The free pharmacy support includes:

  • Device demonstration using an ANAPEN® trainer
  • Patient support pack including an ANAPEN® patient information leaflet, ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (ANAPEN® version), ASCIA Travel Plan for Anaphylaxis, ANAPEN® how to use card and access to an optional patient sms/email ANAPEN® expiry reminder.

The Anapen website  www.anapen.com.au includes links to how to use videos, education information, ASCIA and A&AA anaphylaxis resources.

Whilst the availability of another brand of adrenaline autoinjector in Australia should address any future product shortages, it is important that prescribers and their patients are familiar with both brands.

ANAPEN® is available in three dose strengths:

  • 150 microgram for young children (7.5 Kg to 20 Kg )
  • 300 microgram for children (>20 Kg) and adults
  • 500 microgram for anyone weighing more than 50 Kg. 

The range of strengths is included in the 2021 ASCIA Guidelines for Acute Management of Anaphylaxis www.allergy.org.au/hp/papers/acute-management-of-anaphylaxis-guidelines and other ASCIA anaphylaxis resources, such as the ANAPEN® version of the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis. To access these resources visit www.allergy.org.au/anaphylaxis   

ASCIA Anaphylaxis e-training courses for Schools, Children’s Education/Care (CEC) and  Community have being updated to include information about ANAPEN® and are available at www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/about-ascia-e-training

Update – Allergies and Anaphylaxis Parliamentary Inquiry

On Thursday 24 June 2021 representatives from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), the National Allergy Strategy (NAS), Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) and the Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR) met with the Minister for Heath, Hon Greg Hunt MP, and other Australian Government representatives at Parliament House in Canberra.  At these meetings we discussed when the Government will respond to recommendations in the Report on the Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis ‘Walking the allergy tightrope - Addressing the rise of allergies and anaphylaxis in Australia’.

Whilst we understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed a government response to this Report, the recommendations are becoming increasingly important and more urgent to address. Many of the issues have become worse due to the pandemic, including access to care, education and training. Addressing concerns relating to COVID-19 vaccines, allergies and anaphylaxis in are also important and ongoing issues for ASCIA and other stakeholders to address.

ASCIA welcomed the recommendations in the Report and the recognition of ASCIA’s pivotal and leading role in improving the care of Australians with allergic disease. ASCIA has thanked the Minister for Health, Hon Greg Hunt MP, the Committee Chair, Trent Zimmerman MP, Deputy Chair, Dr Mike Freelander MP, panel members including Dr Katie Allen MP, and the committee Secretariat for their excellent work in initiating and conducting the Parliamentary Inquiry.  

The Parliamentary Inquiry Report was tabled on Monday 15 June 2020 in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia and is available here.

Allergies and Anaphylaxis affect more than 5 million Australians, their families and the community, and are recognised as bipartisan issues. For example, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Ged Kearney MP made a speech about Allergy and Anaphylaxis in Parliament on 3 August 2021. The speech is available here

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ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis 2021 Pictorial

ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis ORANGE 2021 Pictorial PosterThis pictorial version of the ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis, has been developed in response to requests for a more visual plan which can be used as a poster and  assist people with limited reading ability. 

This plan includes infographics showing the:

  • Signs of mild, moderate and severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis); and
  • Actions for anaphylaxis.

The plan is best viewed when printed as an A3 poster which can be displayed in schools, children’s education/care (CEC) services and other community settings.

It is now available on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/first-aid-for-anaphylaxis-pictorial

An audio version of the ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis (using ReadSpeaker*) is available at www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/first-aid-for-anaphylaxis

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New ASCIA Anaphylaxis Refresher e-training

4 August 2021

The new ASCIA Anaphylaxis refresher e-training course is now available.

This short course takes less than 20 minutes to complete and includes:

  • Updated and new ASCIA Action and First Aid Plans.
  • New infographics and animations to make the training more visual and interactive.
  • Instructions for two brands of adrenaline (epinephrine) injectors, EpiPen® and Anapen® (available on the PBS September 2021).
  • A certificate that confirms successful course completion, which requires participants to obtain 100% for the Quiz.

This course is avaiable at https://etraining.allergy.org.au/course/index.php?categoryid=3.

It should only be used for interim refresher training and does not replace the comprehensive ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training courses for schools, children's education/care, community and health professsionals, which take around one hour to complete. All of these courses are currently being updated and will be available by September 2021.

Other ASCIA anaphylaxis resources that have recently been developed or updated include:

ASCIA Travel Plan Updated June 2021

The following new and updated resources will be available in the 2nd half of 2021: 

ASCIA First Aid Plan Poster (pictorial) New August 2021
Anaphylaxis e-training - Community To be updated by September 2021

The new ASCIA Anaphylaxis refresher e-training course has been developed by ASCIA, and supported by ASCIA and the National Allergy Strategy, a partnership between ASCIA and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA).

Updated ASCIA Sulfite Sensitivity information

29 July 2021

Updated ASCIA Sulfite Sensitivity Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) information for patients, consumers and carers is now available on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/patients/other-allergy/sulfite-sensitivity-faq

This document has been reformatted into a reader friendly FAQ format and includes the following new statements:

  • Some oral medications contain gelatin, and trace sulfite residues from gelatin in medications may cause adverse reactions.
  • Allergic reactions to gelatin can also occur in people with mammalian meat allergy (MMA). 
  • Allergic reactions to sulfonamide antibiotics are very different to sulfite sensitivity. To read more go to www.allergy.org.au/patients/drug-allergy/sulfonamide-antibiotic-allergy

It is important that this document is updated when new information becomes available, as it is one of the most accessed articles (around 5,000 times per month) on the ASCIA website.

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