Anaphylaxis Legislation gets Presidential Seal of Approval

HowtoUseYourEpiPen644x356-process-sc644x356-t1338817363SRxA is delighted to announce that earlier this week President Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act.  During a week in which Obama and his new website have made headlines for all the wrong reasons, we thought it only fair to commend him on this important anaphylaxis initiative.

The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act is legislation that will help to protect schoolchildren who experience life-threatening anaphylaxis.

This legislation is a significant milestone for food, venom and latex allergy safety in our nation’s schools,” says Tonya Winders, chief operating officer of Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA). “It will help save lives of children who experience an anaphylactic reaction for the first time or don’t have epinephrine auto-injectors readily available when anaphylaxis occurs.”

Think Fast Allergy Symptoms PicThe measure provides a funding incentive to states that enact laws allowing school personnel to stock and administer emergency supplies of epinephrine auto-injectors. Epinephrine is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis.

The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act was bipartisan legislation, first passing the U.S. House of Representatives on July 30, 2013, and then the U.S. Senate on Oct. 31, 2013, before heading to the President’s desk.

Allergic reactions to foods are the most common cause of anaphylaxis in community settings, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies show that 16-18% of schoolchildren with food allergies have had a reaction from accidentally ingesting food allergens. In addition, 25% of anaphylaxis cases reported at schools happened in children with no prior history of food allergy.

USAnaphylaxis_10_14_13As of today, 28 states have passed emergency stock epinephrine legislation and six have bills pending.  Let’s hope this legislation will spur the remaining states to follow as soon as possible.

Green states that have passed stock epinephrine laws or regulations:

AlaskaArkansasArizonaCaliforniaColoradoFloridaGeorgiaIllinoisKansasKentuckyLouisiana,MarylandMassachusettsMinnesotaMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNorth DakotaOklahoma,OregonSouth CarolinaTennesseeUtahVirginiaVermontWashington, and West Virginia

Yellow states have pending stock epinephrine bills:
MichiganNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhio and Pennsylvania

Red states that have no stock epinephrine bills: 
AlabamaConnecticutDelawareHawaiiIdahoIndianaIowaMaineMississippiNew HampshireNew MexicoRhode IslandSouth DakotaTexasWisconsin, and Wyoming

To find out more about anaphylaxis in schools please visit and

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Time to Reflect?

SRxA’s Word on Health would like to add its heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and loved ones, of all those affected by this weekends seemingly senseless shooting that left six people dead and twelve injured in Arizona.

Although neither the motive nor the full extent of the ripple effects from these events have yet to unfolded, Congress already announced that all legislation scheduled for consideration this week will be postponed. This includes efforts to repeal President Obama‘s healthcare reform law.

Maybe this hiatus will enable people, all sides of the divide to step back and reflect on the real issues. Maybe, they should consider healthcare through the eyes of an impartial observer.

UK physician and medical reporter Dr Karine Nohr recently returned from the States, where she spent one week observing in a cardiology clinic in San Diego and another observing a primary care clinic in New York City.

Among her “observations” Dr Nohr thought it was “wonderful to see” the integrative medicine approach in both specialties. For example, she was impressed that patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation were offered physical rehabilitation in a gym, vegetarian cooking classes, music classes, yoga, meditation, relaxation, guided imagery, managing anxiety and other modalities such as acupuncture and spiritual healing.

On the other hand, she was shocked to see how much unproductive time and energy in American medical practice, was devoted to financial matters. “A substantial part of the consultation might address what a particular patient’s insurance might, or conversely might not cover. This was completely irrespective of the patient’s needs and I did not witness any discussions with patients as to how important it was for them to undergo a particular investigation” reflected Dr Nohr.  “If a patient was well insured, then the degree of over-investigation or unnecessary investigation or unnecessary follow-up could be shocking. This is partly because doctors are reimbursed for procedures and not for talking with patients. Additionally, American doctors are so litigatious-conscious if a patient requests an investigation, that investigation would be done.”

Maybe, there’s something to be learned from this outsider’s view. What do you think?

Ever Heard of a “Fun” Explanation of Health Care Reform?

While explanations of the implications of president Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) are painfully boring for most Americans, a surprisingly comprehensive and entertaining video, aims to change all that.  The non-partisan, non-profit research organization, Kaiser Family Foundation, produced this delightful video narrated by NPR’s senior news analyst, Cokie Roberts.

We know that many industry and healthcare-insider readers can likely recite pages of the Act, but maybe this video will help convince your family and friends to become involved in the discussion.

We can always go back to boring them again tomorrow!