Testimony: House Human Services
House Committee on Human Services
January 21, 2016
To: Members of the House Committee on Human Services
Re: H.300, An act relating to the prescription, maintenance, and use of epinephrine auto-injectors
Life-threatening allergic reactions are a growing medical problem In Vermont and across the country. Common allergens are food, medication, and insect stings. These attacks can occur with little or no warning and can be deadly – 1,500 adults die each year from anaphylaxis. Quick and easy access to an epinephrine auto-injector, administered by trained civilians and medical professionals, has saved numerous lives.
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility believes the business community can have a role in administering this life-saving medication. We support H.300 because it sets up a formal process that allows for the on-site storage and maintenance of epinephrine auto-injectors at places of business and requires the training of volunteer employees to administer the medication and watch for signs of illness. This proposal has the potential to save lives and reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and other medical expenses.
VBSR believes H.300 works for businesses and will improve public health because:
- This is not a mandate from the state government and participation by a business is completely voluntary.
- Businesses that do become designated locations receive training and assistance from certified medical professionals, including how to recognize signs of anaphylaxis and how to administer the auto-injector.
- The bill includes a “Good Samaritan” provision to protect businesses and employees from criminal or civil penalties in relation to the administration of this medication outside of any clear intentional misconduct.
H.300 is a common sense piece of legislation that will increase access to life-saving medication for an increasingly common medical condition and provides businesses and employees with the education and tools necessary to respond in emergency situations. On behalf of our 750 members across Vermont, we urge you to pass this bill in the 2016 session.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your time and service to Vermont.