Conaway & Singleton Bill to Widen Access to Life-Saving Allergy Medicine Clears Assembly Panel

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(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. and Troy Singleton (both D-Burlington) to allow individuals who have received adequate training to carry and administer life-saving epinephrine auto-injectors was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-4094) would allow an individual who has completed an educational program approved by the Commissioner of Health to carry, administer and dispose of an epinephrine auto-injector device. This authorization would not apply to health care professionals and emergency medical technicians who are otherwise authorized to administer the devices in the scope of their practice.

“Serious allergic reactions can be life-threatening without prompt treatment,” said Conaway. “An EpiPen can relieve symptoms and buy you time until help arrives. Allowing properly trained individuals to carry and administer epinephrine can make the difference between life and death.”

“An allergic reaction can happen anywhere. Unless you have an EpiPen handy, you can be in real trouble,” said Singleton. “Considering the serious health risk, it is wise that we allow people who been trained on how to use epinephrine to carry it and administer without fear of legal repercussions.”

The educational program referenced in the bill would have to include training in the administration of epinephrine auto-injector devices, recognition of the symptoms of anaphylaxis, safe maintenance and storage of the devices, and any other information deemed necessary by the commissioner.

Under the bill, health care professionals would be authorized to prescribe and dispense an epinephrine auto-injector device, either directly or through a standing order, to a person authorized to administer, maintain, and dispose of the device under the bill or to an entity employing the person if administration of an epinephrine auto-injector device is within the scope of that person’s employment.

The bill would provide that health care professionals are immune from civil and professional liability for prescribing or dispensing an epinephrine auto-injector device in accordance with the bill. Additionally, a person authorized to administer an epinephrine auto-injector device would be immune from civil liability for administering the device in good faith and without fee to a person who appears to be suffering from anaphylaxis or any other serious condition treatable with epinephrine.

The bill was released by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.