US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

HELP Committee-Led Effort to Improve Access to Emergency Epinephrine in Schools Heads to President’s Desk

With Harkin’s Support, Bipartisan Bill Passed Senate HELP Committee on Wednesday, Full Senate on Thursday

Friday, November 01, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A bill to improve access to emergency epinephrine in schools—unanimously approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee this week—has passed both chambers of Congress and will now go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), a sponsor of the measure, applauded the news in a statement today:

“For a student with severe allergies, ready access to epinephrine can mean the difference between life and death,” Harkin said. “This bipartisan bill will help educators and schools be better prepared to address serious allergic reactions, and it will bring additional peace of mind to the millions of children and their families that are affected by severe food allergies.”

The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act addresses the rise in diagnoses of food allergies in children by encouraging schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine injectors and to allow trained school personnel to administer an epinephrine injection if a student is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction.

Passage of this bill comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new voluntary guidelines on the management of food allergies in schools and early care centers.  Harkin called for these voluntary guidelines in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

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