School Access to Epinephrine
Expanding the availability of epinephrine auto-injectors in schools is a significant advocacy focus for FARE. With approximately 20-25 percent of epinephrine administrations in the school setting involving students or staffers whose allergy was unknown at the time of the event, the availability of undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors — devices that are not prescribed to a particular student and that may be used in anaphylactic emergencies – is critical. Many students who may need epinephrine may have no known history of allergy to food, bee stings, latex and other allergens, and therefore would not have a prescription of their own.
FARE is also working on federal legislation that would encourage states to adopt laws allowing schools to have on hand “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors.
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) have introduced the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094) in the House of Representatives. (See their “Dear Colleague” letter here.)
On July 30, 2013, this bill was approved by the House of Representatives for a vote. FARE is engaging with members of the U.S. Senate to build support for a companion bill.
In addition to protecting those whose epinephrine auto-injector isn’t immediately accessible during a reaction, this legislation will help save the lives of those who experience an anaphylactic reaction and don’t have a prescribed epinephrine auto-injector.
The federal legislation will provide an incentive for states to enact their own laws allowing school personnel to keep and administer a non-student specific epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency.
It’s critical to build support for this legislation by urging our representatives to cosponsor the bill.
Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge them to support this important legislation!
- A draft letter for your editing and personalization is here. We strongly encourage you to customize your letter and add your personal perspective.
- To find your Representatives please go here and enter your zip code. You’ll then find links to your representative’s web site and contact information.
- A statement by Reps. Roe & Hoyer can be found here.
- Bill status and text information can be found here.
Call or email and be sure to tell them:
- HR 2094 – Sponsored by Representatives Phil Roe (TN) and Steny Hoyer (MD), would encourage epinephrine auto-injectors be stocked in schools.
- As a constituent, you support HR 2094 and urge them to cosponsor it.
- Food allergies are life-threatening and affect 6 million kids – one in 13 – or approximately two in every classroom.
- 25% of epinephrine administrations at school are on those without a previous diagnosis.
- The bill is supported by Food Allergy Research & Education.
The bill has also been endorsed by:
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
- American Academy of Emergency Medicine
- National Association of Elementary School Principals
Thank you for your help gathering support for H.R. 2094. We will keep you posted as FARE continues to work to secure passage of this important legislation. Together, we can save the lives of those with potentially life-threatening food allergies.
About thirty states have either introduced or are very close to introducing legislation allowing schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors. Some twenty states have already passed such laws. By the end of 2013, we may see a doubling or tripling of the number of states that allow schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors!
The bills and laws can differ by state. In some cases, only a school nurse can administer the epinephrine auto-injector to a student with no known history of food allergy. In other instances, multiple designees may administer the medication in an emergency.
FARE staff has been actively involved in a number of state efforts – from identifying advocates to providing data and information about best practices, to providing letters of support and working alongside allied professionals with a shared goal of expanding access to epinephrine. If you are interested in learning more about what is happening in your state, and how to get involved, please use our Contact Us form and select Advocacy for your subject line.