Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON D.C. – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statements after attending a White House signing ceremony for the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act:
“The signing into law of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act today represents a significant victory for students and their families,” Whip Hoyer said. “As the grandfather of a child with food allergies, I know how frightening the threat of dangerous and sudden anaphylaxis can be and how important it is to have life-saving epinephrine on hand in an emergency. Too few of our nation’s schools are equipped with epinephrine and with staff trained and authorized to use it in the event of an emergency. This new law will change that, and it will save lives – especially those of students who do not yet know they have a food allergy and may only learn of it the first time they experience a potentially deadly reaction. I want to thank Dr. Phil Roe for working with me to pass this bipartisan legislation that will provide peace of mind to students, parents, teachers, and school administrators.”
“I am pleased that President Obama signed this important, bipartisan legislation into law,” said Roe. “It was a pleasure working across the aisle with Whip Hoyer, and I thank him for his leadership on this issue. This bill will provide a new incentive for states to take additional measures to protect students by stocking epinephrine in public schools. You can never be too careful when protecting the life of a child.”
The law, introduced by Whip Hoyer and Dr. Roe, encourages states to adopt policies that increase access to epinephrine in schools to protect students who are at risk of fatal anaphylaxis, a systemic allergic reaction. It does so by creating 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. Whip Hoyer and Rep. Roe introduced a similar bill during the 112th Congress.
The law is endorsed by Food Allergy Research & Education; the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; the American Medical Association; and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. It passed the House by a voice vote and the Senate by unanimous consent. Text of the legislation can be found here.