Penicillin Allergy Evaluation and Health Equity: A Call to Action

Reuben J. Arasaratnam, Timothy G. Chow, Anne Y. Liu, David A. Khan, Kimberly G. Blumenthal, Alysse G. Wurcel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Allergists have been at the forefront of addressing the burden of unverified penicillin allergy labels. Coordinated national efforts with infectious diseases, antimicrobial stewardship experts, and pharmacy societies to advocate for formal evaluation of patient-reported penicillin allergy have resulted in improvements in delabeling efforts. Given the poorer health outcomes associated with the penicillin allergy label and the potential health benefits that can be gained with delabeling, improving access to penicillin allergy evaluation is of the utmost importance. Health disparities are widely recognized to impact all aspects of health care, and multilevel interventions at the patient, clinician, and systems level are required to ensure equitable care delivery. Structural racism underpins many social determinants of health and is a key driver of racial and ethnic health disparities. In this Rostrum, we use a conceptual framework from the 2015 National Academy of Medicine report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care to explore how inequities are related to the evaluation of penicillin allergy. We use the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategies to Advance Health Disparities to elucidate areas of important study. Building upon existing efforts to address disparities in Allergy/Immunology, we highlight the urgent importance of understanding and eliminating health disparities in penicillin allergy evaluation and delabeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-428
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Beta-lactam
  • Disparity
  • Equity
  • Racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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