Yesterday, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered aired a segment entitled “How Smart Marketing Transformed EpiPen Into A Billion-Dollar Product”. The 5-minute interview by host Robert Siegel of Cynthia Koons, a reporter for Bloomberg Business who published a report on the topic last week, is well worth your time especially if your family relies on epinephrine to stay safe. You can listen to it here:
Koons discusses how Mylan, the pharmaceutical company behind EpiPen, acquired the product in 2007 from a German firm and turned it into the household name we know today. She also discusses the cost of the product as well as Mylan’s aggressive campaign to have stock epinephrine located at schools and other places of public accommodation.
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In yet another horrific tragedy that could have been avoided, 14 year old Emma Sloan died on the streets of Dublin Wednesday after ingesting a sauce containing peanuts at a restaurant.
Emma, who had a known peanut allergy, was having dinner with her family at Jimmy Chung’s Chinese buffet in Dublin’s Eden Quay. Emma’s mother Caroline explains what happened in this quote from the Irish Independent:
“Emma has always been very careful and would check the ingredients of every chocolate bar and other foods to be sure they didn’t contain nuts. She had a satay sauce. She thought it was curry sauce because it looked like curry sauce and smelt like curry.
“I’m not blaming the restaurant because there was a sign saying ‘nuts contained’, but it wasn’t noticed. After a while, Emma began to say, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’.”
On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed bills into law paving the way for epinephrine auto-injectors to be stocked at public schools throughout the state beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
Taken together, House Bills 4352 and 4353 provide for the following:
Reports of Pro-Bowl Linebacker Adrian Peterson’s 2011 bout of anaphylaxis are making the rounds again. While we applaud Peterson’s advocacy, let’s take the opportunity to recap what we learned.
Peterson, who had no prior history of shellfish allergy, ate a bowl of seafood gumbo for lunch during training camp. About 30 minutes later, he began experiencing classic symptoms of anaphylaxis: itchiness and swelling of the eyes and swelling of his throat resulting in difficulty breathing. He called his trainer who recognized the symptoms and immediately administered epinephrine from an auto-injector he kept on-hand.
A terrific article by John Kruzel written as an open letter to Malia Obama was published on Slate.com. The piece, entitled The Patron Saint of Peanut Allergies, is an entreaty to Ms Obama – who herself suffers from peanut allergy – to encourage her father to capitalize on the momentum created by his signing of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act to make the eradication of food allergy a top priority of his administration.
Siddharth Mallick of Houston, TX – a fellow member of the No Nuts Moms Group – sent us the following petition he authored and asked us to post it. We love the sentiment, the way it gently makes reference to Malia Obama’s peanut allergy, and the way it capitalizes on the current momentum following the signing of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act.
Culminating two years of effort, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act was signed into law today by President Obama. The legislation, pioneered by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), provides incentives to the individual states to enact “stock” epinephrine laws and the requisite Good Samaritan laws designed to shield well-meaning individuals from liability in the event they administer epinephrine to someone experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Stock epinephrine refers to epinephrine auto-injectors stocked without a specific prescription for emergency use on anyone experiencing a serious allergic reaction. Many such reactions occur in school settings where a significant percentage are suffered by children that have no prior diagnosis of allergy.
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act was passed by the full Senate today, one day after clearing the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
The legislation, which was passed by the House of Representatives in July, now heads to the President’s desk for signature into law. It provides incentives for states to adopt “stock” epinephrine laws that allow schools to keep doses of the lifesaving drug on-hand for use should a student shows signs of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. The legislation also encourages the adoption of “Good Samaritan” laws to shield those that administer the epinephrine from liability.
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act has cleared another legislative hurdle having received approval from the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. It now moves on to a vote by the full Senate and, assuming it passes as expected, moves on to the president for his signature as the final step to becoming law.
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