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August 22, 1980

Venom Immunotherapy

JAMA. 1980;244(8):769. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310080011008

To the Editor.—  The article entitled "Allergists Who Alarm the Public" (243:793, 1980) is an affront to the integrity of the practicing allergist. To suggest an "alarmist" attitude or unethical behavior by any physician without careful and specific documentation and, in particular, to extend such accusations to groups of established clinical investigators who recommend venom immunotherapy as an effective form of treatment is objectionable.Substantial advances have been made in the understanding of allergic reactions and immunity to stinging insects in recent years. With increasing knowledge, further complexities have been uncovered. Howard S. Rubenstein, MD, has alluded to several of these problems—the natural history of sensitivity and selection of patients at risk who may require specific venom immunotherapy. Allergists are aware of these problems, perhaps more so because of the high cost of immunotherapy. Current controversies and unresolved issues have been thoroughly discussed in recent publications,1-3 at numerous regional