FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2013
CONTACT: Bill Bird, (916) 651-4029
Huff Bill to Expand Access to Life Saving Medication Signed Into Law
SB 669 Helps Protects Children and Adults from fatal allergic reactions
SACRAMENTO: Today Governor Brown signed legislation authored by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) that will protect children and adults who suffer from serious and potentially life-threatening allergies. SB 669 enables California to join a growing group of states which properly trains volunteers to administer EpiPens on children or adults who suffer a potentially fatal allergic reaction, without facing civil liability for trying to save a life.
“This bill will save lives,” said Senator Huff. “We have similar protections set up in schools but fatal allergies don’t go away when a student steps off the school grounds.”
SB 669 has earned the support of many in the medical community including the nationally renowned, Dr. Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD, FAAAAI, one of the nation’s leading allergy physicians who leads translational research and clinical studies at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and directs the Nadeau Laboratory at Stanford.
“…the bill would allow for a process where volunteers such as Scout leaders and Little League coaches may be certified to carry an epinephrine auto injector (EAI) and administer as needed,” Dr. Nadeau writes in a letter to Governor Brown. “Allowing volunteers, particularly those that work with children, to be prepared for an allergic emergency makes good medical sense.”
Food allergies affecting children is on the rise. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of U.S. children who have food allergies rose by 50 percent from 1997 to 2011. It’s estimated that serious allergic reactions, suffered by children and adults, are responsible for 1,500 deaths a year in the United States.
“Severe allergies are impacting more and more people every day, said Senator Huff. “The truth is we needed this law yesterday.”
SB 699 has drawn the support of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the nation’s leading organization advocating for people with food allergies and their families, in addition to the California Medical Association.
Senator Huff serves as the Senate Republican Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.