Under-the-tongue or "sublingual" immunotherapy - what doctors call SLIT - is cost-effective for treating adults with pollen-induced respiratory allergy, according to a report.
SLIT is not officially in use in the United States, although some allergists use it "with satisfactory results," says Dr. Giovanni Passalacqua of University of Genoa, Italy. "The problem is formal, due to the fact that SLIT has not the approval of the FDA. Clinical studies endorsed by the FDA are currently ongoing to get the approval." "In Europe the situation is completely different, and SLIT is widely used in many countries (e.g., Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Hungary)," Passalacqua said. He and colleagues evaluated the costs and consequences of using SLIT in association with standard allergy treatment compared with standard treatment alone in young adults with pollen-induced allergic rhinitis and asthma. They found that SLIT leads to a socioeconomic savings by reducing the co-illnesses of rhinitis and drug consumption. "This fact has been previously envisaged also for injection IT (immunotherapy), but this is the first rigorous assessment made by means of a validated economic model," Passalacqua said. (Source: University of Genoa : January 2007.)