Bill expands access to life-saving allergy treatment

EpiPenA bill that would put more EpiPens in public places has passed the Senate and moved from the Assembly Health Committee to the Codes Committee.

Introduced by Senator Kemp Hannon, R-Garden City, and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, D-Greenburgh, the bill (S.06800/A.9357) would authorize certain public venues to stock and administer epinephrine auto-injectors in an emergency to people in anaphylactic shock, which can be brought on by insect stings, food allergies or medications.

“More and more people need special medication and devices…this common sense measure will help prevent avoidable tragedies by helping ensure the timely access to epinephrine for those who need it,” Abinanti said.

In 2014, the Legislature passed and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed another Abinanti bill into law, authorizing schools to stock and administer epinephrine in an emergency situation without a prescription. This new bill would follow in the same footsteps by authorizing, but not mandating, other public facilities such as restaurants, youth organizations, sports leagues, theme parks and other educational facilities to do the same.

According to recent research conducted by The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “severe allergic reactions occur in approximately 1-in-50 Americans.” Moreover, many people are not even aware that they have an allergy and can experience unexpected allergic reactions — including anaphylaxis — which can be fatal without immediate medical attention.”

The bill would require the auto-injectors be maintained under specified controlled conditions and be administered by a person trained as set forth in the bill.

Seventeen states currently have laws that authorize public facilities to stock and administer epinephrine auto-injectors for emergency use.

The Assembly bill has more than 20 co-sponsors. The Senate bill passed on March 28.