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Upton Attends White House Signing of Epi-Pen Bill

Upton signed bipartisan bill last week as designated House Speaker pro tempore

Washington, DC, November 13, 2013 | Lynn Turner / Nick Culp (269-385-0039 / 202-225-3761)
Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, was part of a bipartisan group of congressional leaders present at the White House today for the signing of H.R. 2094, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, into law. As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton has been a leading advocate of this legislation, which supports our nation’s schools as they work to ensure they have the capability to treat severe allergic reactions.

“When a student has an emergency reaction, every second counts as a life hangs in the balance,” said Upton. “This legislation is about saving lives and giving parents and teachers alike the peace of mind in knowing that if something does happen that there will be someone onsite and ready to act.”

Acting last week by appointment as House Speaker pro tempore, Upton signed H.R. 2094, certifying the House’s approval of the bill and thereby allowing it to advance to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The bill passed the House of Representatives on July 30 after being unanimously approved by Upton’s Energy and Commerce Committee.

The legislation has been widely praised by advocates of children with severe allergic reactions, including Food Allergic Families & Friends (FAFF) of Southwest Michigan, which has more than 50 member-families in the region.

“We are thrilled with this lifesaving legislation, which helps schools access emergency medicine for severe allergic reactions, when every second counts,” said Sarah Swallow Beuker of Portage, Michigan, founder and moderator of FAFF.

“We hope Michigan will adopt a law as urged by this Act, helping the many children who will experience their first severe allergic reaction at school and helping prevent the allergy-related deaths that occur each year in schools.”

Coauthored by Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), H.R. 2094 will provide an incentive for states to allow schools to maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine auto-injectors and permit trained school personnel to administer a non-student specific epinephrine shot in case of an emergency. The legislation also requires states to review their own civil liability protection laws to ensure there is adequate protection for school personnel authorized to aid students.

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