The nonprofit patient education and advocacy organization Allergy & Asthma Network recently praised the decision of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing into law new legislation that will allow students who suffer from anaphylaxis — life-threatening and severe allergic reactions — to carry life-saving drugs with them in school. Similar to asthma medications, patients can now carry their medication without breaking the law.
The Assembly Bill A9334B/Senate Bill S7758, which was recently signed by Gov. Cuomo, makes New York the 50th US state to enable students to self-carry and administer prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors, while they are in school. Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, which is most commonly triggered by allergy to food, insect venom or latex. This new right is similar to the right to carry asthma medications for patients who are prescribed it, as bronchodilator inhalers.
“This legislation is a significant milestone in the national movement to protect students with asthma and life-threatening allergies at school,” said the president and CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network, Tonya Winders. “We applaud the many parents, students, volunteers, legislators and community activists who worked tirelessly to support self-carry laws in all 50 states.”
The organization has been working for ten years to advocate the inclusion of the rights of self-carrying medication for anaphylaxis and asthma nationwide. The Allergy & Asthma Network works in collaboration with stakeholder groups and volunteer advocates, as well as being supported by federal legislation. These efforts recently led to the approval to carry and use bronchodilator inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors in schools across all 50 states.
At the same time, Gov. Cuomo also approved the Assembly Bill A07791A/Senate Bill S7262A, which allows schools to stock emergency supplies of epinephrine auto-injectors, and permits school nurses or other designated staff to administer epinephrine to people suffering from anaphylaxis.
“These laws will help save the lives of children who experience an anaphylactic reaction for the first time at school, or don’t have epinephrine auto-injectors readily available when anaphylaxis occurs,” said Jon Terry, the founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association and Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) volunteer from Brockport, New York. “We are thankful for Governor Cuomo’s support. The leadership of state legislators Thomas Abinanti, Catherine Nolan, John J. Flanagan and Kemp Hannon in a bipartisan effort made the difference in achieving passage this year.”