Going Gluten-FreeNovember 20, 2013

New Law Encourages Schools to Stock Epinephrine

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Posted by Alicia Woodward

Despite maddening gridlock and political fighting, members of the U.S. Congress were fortunately able to agree on one important point last week: Schools should stock epinephrine for kids with allergies and asthma. President Obama signed The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act into law on November 13th.

This federal legislation encourages the states to adopt laws to require schools to stock epinephrine that is “undesignated,” meaning it can be used on anyone having an anaphylactic reaction regardless of whether he or she has a prescription from a doctor for the drug.

The law took two years to work its way through both sides of Congress. It was prompted by the tragic deaths of two food-allergic students (a 7-year-old girl in Virginia and a teen in Illinois) who succumbed to anaphylaxis while in school without access to an EpiPen. The bill gives the states a financial incentive: States that require their schools to keep epinephrine on school premises (plus, allow trained school staff to administer it and have a plan that ensures trained staff are available to do so) will receive preference for federal grants related to children’s asthma treatment.

As President Obama signed the bill, he noted that his daughter, Malia, has a peanut allergy, and he said the bill is “something that will save children’s lives…something that every parent can understand.”

We applaud federal lawmakers and President Obama for this new bill. For more about epinephrine in the schools and how you can advocate for mandated “stock epinephrine” in your state, go to /issues/4_29/All-About-Epinephrine-3527-1.html?page=2.

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