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New Law Expands Access To Life-Saving Drug For Those With Severe Food Allergies

gregfriese / Flickr

gregfriese / Flickr

Parents with children who suffer from severe food allergies say a new law could save lives because it expands the availability of critical medicine.

Epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known by the brand name EpiPens, were only legally available to individuals and schools K-12.

The new law makes this emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions available to organizations and businesses.

This means places like restaurants, youth sporting facilities, and pre-schools can have the devices on hand.

Kim Brown of Walnut Creek has a five-year-old son with severe allergies. She says even the most vigilant person can forget to pack their medication, and some people don’t even know they need it.

“I have seen first hand my son struggle to breathe, and I have seen epinephrine save his life,” said Brown. “It’s a very scary situation to be in, I can’t imagine how frightening it would be for an individual who has no known allergens.”

Mylan is the company that makes EpiPens and also had a hand in passing the law.

The drug maker has been criticized recently for raising the price of the injectors to more than $600 per two-pack.

Priya Balasubramanian is a Sacramento-area mother of a teenager with severe allergies. She finds it hard to reconcile the company’s role in this, but she still supports the law.

“I think we have to recognize that there’s lots of families like my own who have individuals that are at risk of death if there’s no EpiPen available,” said Balasubramanian.

Balasubramanian says the issue of corporate profits should be tackled separately.

Companies and organizations will need to have trained staff on hand in order to get the required prescription.

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