Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Applauds Passage of “Stock Epi-Pen” Legislation and Urges New York State Legislature to Follow Suit

November 14, 2013

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF- Manhattan) commended the U.S. Senate’s passage last Thursday of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094) after passage by the U.S. House of Representatives in July of this year. The bill, once signed into law by President Obama, will encourage states to adopt laws requiring schools to “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors (epi-pens) in the event of an anaphylactic emergency by making states that do eligible for federal funding through the Centers for Disease Control National Asthma Control Program Grant.

“When it comes to anaphylaxis, seconds can mean the difference between life and death,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “I am so pleased that the U.S. Congress put the health and well-being of the nation’s students over partisanship, and passed this life-saving piece of legislation. Now, the New York State Legislature must pass my bill to ensure that New York qualifies for federal funding through the Asthma Control Grant that will save countless young lives and prevent tragedy.”

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can be fatal. The number of children who suffer from anaphylactic reactions has steadily increased over the years. FARE, Food Allergy Research and Education, has concluded that approximately 1 in every 13 children has a food allergy. When adding the number of children who suffer from allergies to other stimuli, such as insect stings, the prevalence increases even more.

To satisfy the requirements of H.R. 2049, Assemblymember Rosenthal’s legislation will require each school in New York State to keep a supply of epi-pens in a secure but accessible location on school grounds. Additionally, the bill would require that select school personnel be trained to effectively administer the epi-pen and would allow the trained personnel to administer the epi-pen to a student in the event of an emergency.

“This bill represents a win-win for New York,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “It will qualify us for federal funding and will save countless lives in the process. This is a no-brainer.”

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal is the sponsor of a number of food allergy and anaphylaxis related bills. Bill A.759-A would require that teachers be trained to administer the epi-pen to students. Bill A.262 would require children’s overnight and summer day and travel camps to stock epi-pen devices. Bill A.7370 would require pre-schools and restaurants to stock epi-pens.