North Carolina students with allergies have reason to feel a bit more secure this fall. Effective Nov. 1, Governor Pat McCrory signed a law requiring K-12 schools to carry epinephrine autoinjectors (EpiPens) for students. Principals are also required to select at least one person at the school to be trained annually on how to identify allergic reactions and use EpiPens.
Although the state won’t fund the purchase of EpiPens, both public and private schools can apply to take part in a free distribution program called EpiPen4Schools. The program is run through Mylan Specialties and Bioridge Pharma, and participating schools can receive up to four EpiPens a year. Teachers can also receive training on recognizing allergy symptoms through advocacy groups like the Food and Allergy Research and Education (FARE) group.
In November 2013, President Obama signed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Law, which provides funding incentives for states with their own epinephrine laws.