A survey on the perception of allergy specialists about the reimbursed grass pollen tablets for seasonal allergic rhinitis in Italy

Clin Mol Allergy. 2017 Aug 15;15:15. doi: 10.1186/s12948-017-0071-6. eCollection 2017.


Background: Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a feasible option to classical subcutaneous immunotherapy to treat respiratory allergy and is increasingly prescribed in Europe. However, the lack of reimbursement may limit its prescription. In 2015, the 5-grass pollen tablets was authorized by the European Medicine Agency to treat grass-pollen induced rhinitis and was approved in Italy for full reimbursement. We evaluated the opinions of allergy specialists after the availability of the reimbursed 5-grass pollen tablets.

Methods: A multiple choice questionnaire composed by six questions was used to assess the specialists opinion. The questionnaire was uploaded on the free access online platform SurveyMonkey. The link to access the platform was sent to all members of the Società Italiana di Asma, Allergologia e Immunologia Clinica (SIAAIC). The access to the questionnaire was anonymous. At survey ending, the access was closed and data were downloaded directly from SurveyMonkey website.

Results: The questionnaire was filled by 70 allergists. The majority of allergists felt as most important the concept of SLIT as a drug, the content of allergen extract mirroring the natural exposure, the pre-coseasonal schedule as the most patient's oriented, the very good profile of tolerability and safety, the importance of the build-up phase, and the importance of checking the patient after starting immunotherapy.

Conclusions: The opinions of the Italian allergy specialists about the reimbursed 5-grass-pollen tablets are very positive and make likely an appropriate prescription of SLIT for grass-pollen induced rhinitis in the next years.