Thursday, February 4, 2016

EpiPen bill heads to House

Child care centers and homes could obtain prescriptions for EpiPen for children in their care under a bill that has cleared a House committee.

House Bill 148 sponsored Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville, said the bill approved by House Health and Welfare would give certified child care center and family child-care homes the ability to obtain an EpiPen or like epinephrine auto-injector device by prescription for emergency use. EpiPen allows epinephrine to be quickly administered by injection, usually through the thigh, to someone suffering a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction.

Current law allow parents to provide EpiPen to their child care provider but does not allow providers to get prescriptions for the device themselves, said Belcher.

“I’ve talked to the day cares and they weren’t aware (of being covered under current legislation),” said Belcher. She was speaking of 2015 HB 248, sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian and passed into law last year, which allows EpiPen to be prescribed and dispensed to authorized places or individuals that have appropriate training to use the devices. That legislation does not specifically mention child care centers.

Belcher reminded the committee that all certified child care centers have someone trained in first aid “so we do have people there who can take care of our children, and that is our goal.”

“I think it’s good legislation. Maybe the bill last time did not go as far as we thought it went,” said Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington.

HB 148 now goes to the full House for consideration.