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Mylan Specialty hires 'Modern Family' star for anaphylaxis campaign


BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Mylan Specialty has hired a star of a popular TV series as a celebrity spokeswoman for a campaign designed to draw attention to severe allergic reactions.

The company, a subsidiary of generic drug maker Mylan, announced Wednesday that it hired Julie Bowen for its "Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis" campaign, which includes an essay contest for students in grades 1-12. Bowen plays the role of Claire Dunphy on the show and has a real-life son who had an anaphylactic reaction as a toddler and is allergic to peanuts, walnuts and bee stings. Mylan Specialty markets the EpiPen Auto-Injector.

"Like most kids, my son spends 180 days in school each year, and I need to know that the people he is with everyday know the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and what to do if it occurs," Bowen said. "Fortunately, my son received immediate medical care and recovered quickly, but it was a wake-up call that anaphylaxis can occur anywhere and at any time, even when you may not think your child is at risk."

Food allergies are the most common cause of anaphylaxis, and 1-in-13 children in the United States suffers from a food allergy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other triggers can include insect stings, latex and medications.

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