Brown Pushes EpiPen Legislation

Dec 6, 2013

Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio has been promoting a  federal law designed to protect kids with allergies. 

Brown is urging passage of a state law making the allergy drug epinephrine, usually called the EpiPen, widely available in schools. Lewis Wallace of member station WYSO in Yellow Springs reports.

Quick refresher: EpiPens are little injectors that interrupt anaphylactic shock.

One concern about having EpiPens in all schools is that not every school has a nurse to administer them.

But at an event in Dayton, Virginia Noe from the Dayton Public Schools demonstrates a teaching epinephrine injector that talks novices through the process.

VN: It is reassuring to hear someone giving you directions, so this is what it sounds like. [this trainer contains no needle or drug...if you are ready…]

The federal law signed by President Obama in November offers grant money to states that require EpiPens and trained personnel in schools.

Senator Brown says that policy is an easy lifesaver.

SB: This is in no way alarmist, this isn’t a public health disaster, this is simply something we know how to prevent, we know how to deal with.

A bill has already passed the Ohio house that would allow schools to have the pens even if they don’t have a student with a known allergy.

Senator Brown is pushing for the passage of that bill, and for further legislation that would give Ohio access to the federal funds.