Three allergy medications approved in one month

Krishna Rutvij Patel, PharmD

The FDA’s approval of three sublingual immunotherapy tablets marks the entrance of orals into the allergen immunotherapy market that is dominated by allergen extracts administered subcutaneously. Oralair and Grastek are both approved for treatment of moderate to severe allergy to grass pollen, whereas Ragwitek is approved for allergy to ragweed pollen. Patients who do not respond adequately to symptomatic treatments now have a more convenient and viable option. Despite these drugs’ convenient dosing, formulary decision makers must consider the threat to adherence that these drugs pose, as patients can now take their allergy treatment at home rather than having to visit physicians’ offices, where adherence is assured. With Oralair and Grastek having similarities in indication and in efficacy, it is important to pinpoint minute differences. Below we have a bird’s-eye view of the three allergy medications, which were approved in April.

(approved April 1)
(approved April 14)
(approved April 17)
Sublingual tablet
Dosing frequency Once daily Once daily Once daily
Indicated for allergy to grass pollen
Indicated for allergy to ragweed pollen
Number of pollen extracts within tablet 5 1 1
Approved age group ≥10 years ≥5 years ≥18 years
Months prior to pollen season when therapy should be initiated 4 3 3
Sources: Prescribing information documents for Grastek and Ragwitek; news release regarding Oralair approval

Career Opportunities

HAP, a subsidiary of Henry Ford Health System, is a nonprofit health plan providing coverage to individuals, companies and organizations. This executive develops strategies to meet membership and revenue targets through products, pricing, market segmentation and advertising.  Aligns business among Business Development, Commercial Sales, Medicare and Public Sector Programs and Product Development. Seeks to enhance and be responsible for business development and expansion through the development of an effective product portfolio, strong interpersonal relationships and service excellence.

Apply via email to or online at

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Monthly table of contents

Be notified as each issue of Managed Care is available online.

Biweekly newsletter

Recent topics have included:

PTCommunity news

New drug approvals, clinical trials, drug management. Three times per week.


Managed Care
By Peter Wehrwein
Managed Care
By Howard Wolinsky