|Legislation Could Save Lives in Schools Nationwide
McLean, Va. (July 30, 2013) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to approve the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094), important legislation championed by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) that will help protect students with food allergies.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD), encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have on hand “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors, which is epinephrine that is not prescribed to a specific student but can be used for any student or staff member in an anaphylactic emergency. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can be fatal.
“We applaud the House for recognizing the need for schools to be prepared to protect students with life-threatening food allergies by passing this legislation, and we thank Dr. Roe and Rep. Hoyer for their unequivocal support,” said John L. Lehr, chief executive officer of FARE. “This is a tremendous victory, but we still have work to do to enact this legislation. We look forward to working with our champions in the Senate, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), so that this legislation can be approved and sent to the President for signature.”
About half of states have laws or guidelines in place allowing schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors. The proposed federal legislation would provide an incentive for states to require schools to stock epinephrine.
In addition to FARE, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the National Association of Elementary School Principals have endorsed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act.