(Washington, D.C., June 7, 2023) – Today, Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced Dillon’s Law, a bipartisan bill that will incentivize states to allow “good Samaritans” to save lives. This legislation encourages states to train individuals to carry and administer epinephrine, better known as “EpiPens,” by integrating a stronger preference for federal grants for states that institute this practice. This bill is endorsed by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), the Elijah-Alavi Foundation, and the Dillon Mueller Memorial Fund.
This bill is inspired by Dillon Mueller, native of Mishicot, Wisconsin, who tragically passed away in 2014 at the age of 18 after being stung by a bee and falling into a coma due to anaphylaxis. Dillon was unable to receive epinephrine in a timely manner. [Read more about Dillon here.]
Many states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, have signed versions of Grothman’s bill into law with overwhelming bipartisan support. While similar legislation passed Congress in 2013 providing incentives for states to develop emergency epinephrine programs within school systems, this legislation would make epinephrine training more widely available, which would enable more individuals to prevent tragedies involving anaphylaxis from occurring.
“Dillon Mueller’s passing was a tragedy,” said Congressman Grothman. “No parent should have to endure the loss of a child, and that is what Dillon’s parents, Angel and George, are working to prevent.
“Dillon’s Law encourages states to allow any properly trained individual to administer epinephrine to someone experiencing a severe allergic reaction. Since Wisconsin passed similar legislation in 2017, thousands of Wisconsinites have been trained to administer Epinephrine in the event of a life-threatening allergic reaction, making our state safer and more welcoming, especially for anyone susceptible to anaphylaxis. I hope that my colleagues in Congress will join me in learning more about Dillon Mueller and how Dillon’s Law can help save lives throughout the country.”
“Deaths like Dillon’s are heartbreaking and preventable, and we should empower good Samaritans to save lives,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “I’m proud to introduce Dillon’s Law with Rep. Grothman to help prepare individuals to respond to anaphylaxis and prevent tragedies like the one experienced by the Mueller family. We’ve seen programs like this work in my home state of Michigan, and we can help so many people by expanding this to the rest of the country.”
“As I witnessed Dillon receiving CPR after a bee sting, God spoke to my heart and commanded me, ‘you need to fix this!’” said Angel Mueller, Dillon’s mom. “God has put all the right people in the right place at the right time, including Congressman Grothman. To date, several lives have been saved in Wisconsin as a result of Dillon’s Law from individuals trained to administer epinephrine to someone experiencing anaphylaxis.”
“No one should die from anaphylaxis. Dillon’s Law will help save lives by creating opportunities for people to be trained and to administer life-saving epinephrine to a person who is experiencing a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction,” said Kenneth Mendez, President and CEO of AAFA. “Dillion’s Law also removes the threat of civil litigation for a good Samaritan who jumps in to administer epinephrine in an emergency. If Dillon’s Law passes, a bystander won’t have to think twice about helping someone needing immediate administration of epinephrine in an emergency.”
“On behalf of the more than 33 million Americans with potentially life-threatening food allergies, FARE is grateful for Reps. Grothman and Dingell’s leadership to introduce legislation that will save lives by training and certifying individuals how to use epinephrine auto-injectors and other FDA-approved devices,” said Jason Linde, Senior Vice President of Advocacy of FARE. “We encourage all House members to cosponsor this bill.”
Under Dillon’s Law, states would be incentivized to train, certify, and enable good Samaritans to administer epinephrine to an individual experiencing a severe allergic reaction in the event they need the medication before emergency medical services can arrive.
This legislation encourages states to allow trained individuals to carry and administer Epinephrine to someone suffering from an allergic reaction through the creation of a grant preference under an existing federal grant program for preventative health services. The bill also requires states to implement civil liability protections for individuals trained in administering Epinephrine. Dillon’s Law is similar to state laws passed in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and more.
Training for delivery of Epinephrine to an individual is cost effective, quick, and can prevent tragedies from occurring every year. Dillon’s Law will give states proper incentives to develop these training programs so that individuals can carry and administer the medication when someone is suffering from a severe allergic reaction.
Anaphylaxis occurs when someone suffers a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction, most commonly from insect stings, food items, and medications. Anywhere from 500-1,000 fatal cases of anaphylaxis occur every year in the United States, in addition to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and emergency room visits every year.
The legislation is inspired by the life of Dillon Mueller, a Mishicot, Wisconsin native who passed away at the age of 18 from anaphylaxis following a bee sting. Angel and George Mueller started the Dillon Mueller Memorial Fund, which has already helped 3,000 people obtain training in Wisconsin through the “Do It for Dillon Epinephrine Certification Program”, approved by Wisconsin Department of Health. The content of the course is state-approved through the Wisconsin Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons (WAOPS). The course lasts approximately 1 hour, is free of charge, and can be provided for any community entity or group interested in epinephrine training.
Training for delivery of epinephrine to an individual is cost effective, quick, and can prevent tragedies from occurring every year.