Allergy Advocacy Association Returns to Albany for Epi Entity Stocking legislation
With a rallying cry of Epi Everywhere! Every Day! Right Away! The Allergy Advocacy Association is teaming up with the Allergy and Asthma Network to help get legislation passed to enable a variety of public locations to stock epi-pens just like they do AED defibrillators. Read all about our efforts here.
April 15th, 2015
By Jon Terry
Greetings from Jon Terry, the founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association. Our association is dedicated to supporting programs helping in the prevention of anaphylaxis through AWARENESS, ALERTNESS & ACTION.
Slogans have a way of sticking in my head. It doesn't matter too much if the words successfully convey their message or not. The ones that sound corny or silly seem to hold equal status with those that ring true and have great appeal.
"My Country Right or Wrong!"
"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!"
"There’s no such thing as a free lunch."
"Je Suis Charlie."
The Allergy and Asthma Network (AAN), a nation-wide not-for-profit supporting individuals at risk for anaphylaxis and asthma, has previously publicized a catchy phrase that I particularly admire.
"EPI EVERYWHERE EVERY DAY!"
You can be sure that these are sentiments that the Allergy Advocacy Association takes firmly to heart.
Now AAN has come out with a new, improved version:
"EPI EVERYWHERE! EVERY DAY! RIGHT AWAY!"
Who says you can't improve upon perfection?? The Network has taken a firm stand by using simple language. This slogan conveys the importance as well as the urgent need to pass legislation and to implement programs that will help save lives.
Here in New York State, how might our association best support these admirable sentiments? I think we can best help matters by continuing to advocate for improved access to epinephrine EVERYWHERE!
There are statistics that show the importance of immediate administration of epinephrine when symptoms of anaphylaxis occur after eating certain foods, taking medications or being stung by an insect. Unfortunately, there are also statistics of people who lost their lives because epinephrine was not available.
Mylan Specialty sponsors an EpiPen4Schools program that provides free Epi-PensTM for qualifying schools throughout the U.S. Their annual survey found 919 episodes of anaphylaxis in the 2013-2014 school year alone.
Most significantly, in 22% of cases anaphylaxis occurred in students or staff members with no known allergies, and they would not have had a prescribed Epinephrine Auto-Injector device (EAI) on hand (For more details please see the March e-newsletter on our Web site). Continuing improvement of access to epinephrine beyond the boundaries of our school districts is the best way to save lives when anaphylaxis occurs.
I would like to propose EPI ENTITY STOCKING legislation here in New York. It would authorize the presence of epinephrine auto-injector devices at facilities open to the general public. Any public entity where individuals with life-threatening allergies might conceivably congregate and could possibly have an anaphylaxis attack would be allowed (BUT NOT REQUIRED) to stock the Epinephrine Auto-Injector device (EAI). It is my hope that the most obvious locations—restaurants, sports stadiums, museums, summer camps, swimming pools, amusement parks—would then have EAI devices available as a part of their stocks of emergency medical supplies. Furthermore, many of them already have life-saving devices such as the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) readily available.
If this sounds like a radical idea, perhaps it is here in New York; but other states, including Florida, have already enacted entity stocking laws. And I believe that our state can successfully follow the route established by other states without losing our way or endangering any residents of New York State. The sooner we get started, the safer our society will be for individuals with life-threatening allergies.
On Tuesday, May 19th the Allergy Advocacy Association will participate in an anaphylaxis awareness raising event in Albany. We will actively support any reasonable legislation that improves access to epinephrine. From 9am to 4pm we will be exhibiting at the concourse entrance to the Legislative Office Building in the New York State capitol. Please join our advocacy efforts by attending or by signing our petition supporting Epi Entity Stocking on Change.org.
Our association also has a slogan that I think clearly expresses our goal. "Not another life lost to anaphylaxis - Not another life lost to ANY life-threatening allergies!" I hope it will resonate in your consciousness just as much as it does in mine. Best wishes and thanks a lot!