Whip Hoyer, Rep. Roe Re-introduce Bipartisan Bill for School Access to Emergency Epinephrine

For Immediate Release:

May 22, 2013

WASHINGTON D.C. – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) introduced the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act today. The bipartisan bill encourages states to adopt policies that increase access to epinephrine to protect students who are at risk of fatal food-induced anaphylaxis, a systemic allergic reaction. Whip Hoyer and Rep. Roe previously introduced a bill to expand access to emergency epinephrine in schools during the 112th Congress.

The School Access to Epinephrine Act creates an incentive for states to stock epinephrine injectors and permit trained school personnel to administer epinephrine to students believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction. The bill also requires states to review their own civil liability protection laws to determine whether those laws provide adequate protection to trained school personnel who aid students in an emergency.

“As a grandfather of a child with a severe food allergy, I’m pleased to introduce legislation today that will make a difference for the nearly six million children in our country whom suffer from food allergies,” said Whip Hoyer. “The quick-acting nature of many food allergies can be life-threatening, which is why Rep. Roe and I have introduced this bill that will expand access to epinephrine injectors in our schools and help ensure that school personnel can quickly respond in the event of an emergency allergic reaction. I’m hopeful Congress will take action on this bipartisan legislation that will help save lives, and I thank Rep. Roe for partnering with me on this important issue.”

“I am proud to introduce the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act because this important legislation could save lives,” said Rep. Roe. “According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, roughly one in 13 kids under age 18 have at least one food allergy. A systemic allergic reaction can kill within minutes.  To prevent a fatal outcome, we need to make epinephrine pens available in our schools. You can never be too careful when protecting the a life of a child and this legislation will ensure we’re taking every precaution we can to ensure children are safe should they have an allergic reaction at school. I want to thank Rep. Steny Hoyer for his support of and work on this bill.”

"We hope to see all 50 states enact laws that will help protect students by ensuring that life-saving medication is available at schools in case of anaphylactic emergencies, and this bill would help make this a reality," said John Lehr, CEO of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). "We are thankful for the leadership and support of Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Phil Roe (R-TN), who have recognized the need for this critical legislation."

This legislation has the endorsement of Food Allergy Research & Education; the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

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