We sat down with Rick Orchard, the Co-Founder of Optimum Allergy Solutions, to ask him about the prevalence of allergies and what his revolutionary allergy test and treatment program is doing to help people overcome the negative and often debilitating effects of allergies. The program is not only groundbreaking, it’s simple, and it works.

Rick, tell us about how prevalent allergies are and what kinds of effects they have on our lives. 

Well, in the United States, a third of adults and 40% of children have allergies. That’s bad enough, but what’s even worse is allergies cause secondary asthma. 95% of all asthma is caused by allergies, and that’s where it’s dangerous—that’s where the parent takes the child to the emergency room and they can’t breathe, that’s where it affects you playing sports, etc. That’s very prevalent in our country.

What’s been the cause of all these allergies? Are they on the upswing?

They are. Since the mid 70s, when they started tracking this, allergies are increasing. The World Health Organization, the CDC, they are tracking this. And they don’t know why more and more people are having allergies. My personal feeling is that as a general statement, we are not getting as much nutrition as we have in the past—I think our bodies are just simply weaker because of that. But technically speaking, no one knows why allergies are increasing.

So, you’ve come up with some unique ideas about how to help people with allergies. Tell us a little bit about that.

Well, we have. The bad news is, there haven’t been any new technologies in the allergy world for the past 25 years. People have been tested for allergies by the same method that they have been for years and years, and they are still getting the weekly shots at the allergist’s office. But all that changes now with our test and treatment program. The test is very simple. Due to the increase in technology, now we can just prick a person’s finger, and with a couple of drops of blood, we can test for 180 allergens—all of the most common allergens that people are allergic to (food, animal dander, molds, insects).

Does that mean no more grid skin prick tests on your back?

No more pricks on the back! Let’s talk about that because that has historically been how people have been tested for allergies. We only have so much skin on our back—so much room—and most allergist test for 40-50 allergens. By pricking your back, they literally insert a little allergen into your back, and then they sit back and they observe and wait to see if there is what they call a wheel and a flare—an allergic reaction. The problem with that is 1. It’s not measurable but 2. It’s not accurate. It has a 32% false positive rate. For example, I have a picture of a woman who was tested, and she welled up on every single allergen. Well, common sense, she’s not allergic to every allergen.—she has sensitive skin. But by looking at her, what is she allergic to? You don’t know. The good news: by pricking your finger and getting a couple drops of blood, blood does not lie. It is extremely accurate. So, now a healthcare provider will know with 100% assurance exactly what that patient is allergic to.

Drop of blood on finger. Man doing glucose blood test with lancet hand prick

Get started with your Optimum Allergy Solutions Treatment HERE.

And you also have a really unique way of treating them. I remember going to the allergist once a week for a shot, and that was honestly pretty hard because it was time-consuming, it was easy to forget, it was expensive. There were a lot of down sides to that.

Well, you mentioned them. It’s time-consuming, absolutely. But here’s the downside of the historical method of weekly injections: because it’s potentially dangerous, the allergist has to start with a really low dose, and they titrate up in the dose over a 9-10 month period to reach what they call the maintenance level. After you reach the maintenance level, it takes 2-3 months before you start feeling better. Well, that’s a year! And so, Florida Medicaid did a massive study, following 115,000 Medicaid recipients over a five-year period, and of those who start treatment, who start that weekly shot, only 16% finish their treatment regimen. Why? Because they get tired of seeing a doctor once a week to get a shot and not feel better. Not only is it time-consuming, it is non-compliant. People drop out.

I plead guilty on that one.

Whereas, with our treatment, it’s the same allergens as an allergist gives you in a shot—the exact same FDA-approved allergens—however, we mix it in our unique omit base, a toothpaste base, and it stabilizes those allergens for three months. And so now, all a person needs to do is brush their teeth once a day.

That’s easy to remember!

It’s easy to remember. It’s one of what we call the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)—we all have a habit of brushing our teeth. It’s convenient. It’s portable—we can take it with us on business trips, vacations, off to college for students. It’s very convenient, therefore, people are compliant. And the other really good news about this new delivery system is that it’s safe, therefore we are not injecting it into the blood. It’s goes through your mouth into the lymphatic system, therefore it’s safe. Because it’s safe, we start at the maintenance level, and people start feeling better in a couple months.

Get started with your Optimum Allergy Solutions Treatment HERE.

I’m assuming what you’re saying is each person has their own particular toothpaste that has been customized for their set of allergies?

Yes, so when the doctor pricks the finger and the test comes back and says, “Ok, this person is allergic to these seven items—some trees, some mold, cat dander, etc,” then the doctor writes a prescription for those seven items and the pharmacist mixes that unique, customized prescription for that patient. So yes, it is absolutely customized per patient based on the test results.

Child brushing teeth. Kids with toothpaste and brush. Dental and oral hygiene, care. Healthy daily routine for children. Kid after shower or bath at home. Girl and boy in pajamas with tooth paste.

So, the toothpaste lasts three months and then you go to your compound druggist again and they make you another? Is that how it works?

Yeah, the doctor, when he writes a prescription, he automatically checks the box for three refills. So, the pharmacist will mail a pharmaceutical-grade, metered pump—so don’t think of a tube of toothpaste like Crest of Colgate. It’s a pump. And you just push it twice, and that’s the exact metered amount that you need, once a day, to brush your teeth. And that pump lasts for 90 days. Now, the pharmacy will automatically mail to your home another pump for three more times for the year. After that first year, then the patient sees the doctor again, gets retested (just like you do for your high blood pressure or cholesterol—you have to retest it once in a while to measure the progress), and then next year when the test result comes out, the doctor will modify the prescription based on the test results.

Do I have to know what doctors have this protocol ready, or can I do it right from my home?

You can do it from your home. You can go to your doctor if they happen to be using our program in their practice, but certainly the most convenient is you can just go to a link on our website and make an appointment to see a doctor via teleconference in your home. You see a doctor just like you would at a normal doctor’s office. They ask you questions, you fill out a patient questionnaire, and then the doctor orders the test.

So, the blood test is done through the doctor’s supervision, but it’s one of the doctors you have already been working with with this product?

Yes. We have doctors nationwide via TeleMed, and we have doctors nationwide seeing our patients with our program. So, if one of your readers learns about this program, they can absolutely go home and see a doctor via TeleMed. The doctor will order a test. Then there is a second visit via TeleMed to review the results of the test, and they ask the patient, “Would you like me to write a prescription for you?”

Where do I get my blood pricked? Do I have to go to a lab?

Nope. Excellent question. When the doctor orders the test via TeleMed, then the doctor will mail to your reader at their home a little kit, and there’s a video and a PDF with instructions. It’s not complicated. You just literally prick your finger and drop a couple drops of blood on the blood card, and then mail that blood card to the lab. So, you can do it from the convenience of your home.

Get started with your Optimum Allergy Solutions Treatment HERE.

How much does this cost, and does my insurance cover it?

Insurance covers the test, just like they would for any other test that you order. The treatment is not covered by insurance, and here’s why. When the FDA approved allergens in the late 70s, they approved them for the only known delivery system at that time, which was injections. Well, since then, they’ve invented something called sublingual drops where you put some drops under your tongue. That works—it’s the same FDA-approved allergens—except, it tastes horrible and people don’t like that. Now, we have developed the toothpaste, so the same FDA-approved allergens are mixed into the toothpaste base, so you can now just brush your teeth. Well, with the drops, and now with the toothpastes, those are different delivery systems, so they are considered “off-label use”, therefore insurance does not pay for it. Just like 40% of when doctors prescribe medication, they are prescribing for off-label use—a different use than what was originally approved by the FDA. So, that’s a long answer. Insurance does cover the test, but the patient does need to pay for the treatment out of their pocket.

Having said that, the cost of treatment is less than the other two types of treatments. If you are getting a weekly shot, does insurance cover that? Yes. Do you have to pay your co-pay when you have a doctor visit? Well, yes. If your co-pay is $25, that would cost you $100 a month just to get injections four times a month. The sublingual drops cost between $130-150. The toothpaste is much less expensive. It depends on the number of allergens and the prescription—it ranges typically from around $69-$79, which is less expensive than seeing the doctor once a week.

How much is that initial visit with the TeleMed and getting the blood kit?

The TeleMed visit is $59, and there are two visits—the initial visit and the follow up visit. And then there is the price of the test kit. So, those three things add up to be $135. Now, a patient can absolutely submit to their insurance company and get reimbursed, depending on their benefit plan. They do need to pay the TeleMed doctor upfront, but they can be reimbursed by their insurance.

Where is the link that I can click on this and get started?

The link is OptimumAllergySolutions.com/Meridian. When you click that link, it goes to a landing page. The landing page explains what we have been talking about, gives a brief history of allergies—the historical treatment, the historical testing—gives a brief explanation of our test, how it works, and the treatment. Then, you click on a button that says “Schedule An Online Appointment”. You schedule an online appointment with a TeleMed doctor, and then they will contact you, and you see the doctor.

That is so impressive. How about for international readers? Can they participate in this?

The answer is yes. In fact, we went to an international forum in Dubai last year, and our Chief Medical Officer made a presentation to 12 Middle Eastern countries. He received the standing ovation because this has been the first new treatment in the allergy world in the last 30 years. There are countries, especially in the middle east, where their statistics are even worse—half of their population has asthma because of those sand storms, they stir up all of the allergens. They have a much worse case than here in the US. So, there’s a worldwide need for this, and the answer is yes. Via TeleMed, they would have to pay cash because we don’t know what health insurance they have in another country, but can they access this via TeleMed? The answer is yes.

Get started with your Optimum Allergy Solutions Treatment HERE.

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