Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Epi-pen Update

Last month I wrote about the cost of epi-pens ($400.00 for a box of two, without insurance, with my insurance $10).

This week President Obama signed a bill into law which will encourage schools to keep epi-pens on hand and allow trained personnel to administer them.  Valerie Jarrett wrote about this on the White House blog:

Today in the Oval Office, President Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which will encourage schools to plan for severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions, and provide millions of families with greater peace of mind.
The law makes an important change to the Children’s Asthma Treatment Grants Program and other federal asthma programs, which authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to give funding preferences to states for asthma-treatment grants if they: maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine (EpiPens), if they permit trained personnel of the school to administer epinephrine, and if they develop a plan for ensuring trained personnel are available to administer epinephrine during all hours of the school day.  

 I've always wondered why schools couldn't keep a few epi-pens on hand in case of emergency.  Not all families, especially those without insurance, may not be able to afford to give the school an epi-pen in case their child needed it.  Usually schools won't administer any medication to a child unless the family has provided it.  And they require a doctor's note each year, which means a doctor's visit.

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