September 28, 2018: Penicillin Allergy Awareness Day

WHEREAS, penicillin is the most commonly reported drug allergy with 10% of all US patients—30 million Americans, or nearly 1 million Michiganders—reporting having an allergic reaction to a penicillin-class antibiotic in their past; and,

WHEREAS, penicillin allergy history is often inaccurate, with research showing that 9 out of 10 patients reporting as penicillin allergic—about 27 million Americans, or more than 893,000 Michiganders—are not truly allergic to penicillin; and,

WHEREAS, inaccurate diagnosis of penicillin allergy can adversely impact medical costs for both patients and healthcare systems: research shows that as antibiotic costs for patients reporting penicillin allergies are up to 63% higher than for those who do not report being penicillin-allergic; and,

WHEREAS, in the hospital setting, history of penicillin allergy translates to about 10% more hospital days, 30% higher incidence of VRE infections, 23% higher incidence of C difficile infections, and 14% higher incidence of MRSA infections; and,

WHEREAS, these adverse events occur because penicillin “allergic” patients are given more broad spectrum antibiotics, which contributes to the public health problem of antibiotic resistance; and,

WHEREAS, Penicillin Allergy Day was created to raise awareness of false penicillin allergy and encourage the de-labeling of patients falsely labeled with penicillin allergy by promoting the existence of penicillin allergy skin testing;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 28, 2018 as Penicillin Allergy Awareness Day in Michigan.