A bill that would allow Ohio schools to stock epinephrine autoinjectors to treat students who experience a sudden and severe allergic reaction passed the Senate on Tuesday.
Current law allows schools to administer epinephrine only to students who have been prescribed the drug and brought it to school. Under House Bill 296, if a local school board approves, a school can stock the injectors, commonly known as EpiPens, and train school personnel to administer the drug.
Jointly sponsored by Rep. Mike Duffey, R-Worthington, the bill also would allow camps and athletic trainers to keep supplies of EpiPens.
Mylan Specialty, the marketer and distributor of EpiPen, has a program that would provide four devices to each school building that chooses to participate.
The bill includes an emergency clause, so it would take effect immediately after it is signed into law. It now goes back to the House for a final vote on Senate amendments.
The Senate also passed a bill designating September as Safe Driving Awareness Month. Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus, said the measure is designed to bring attention to the issue of distracted driving and to honor Maria Tiberi, daughter of WBNS-TV sports anchor Dom Tiberi. She died in September when her car slammed into the back of a stopped tractor trailer on I-270.
Senators cast their votes by standing silently at their desks.
In 2013, 16 fatal crashes and nearly 2,800 crashes overall involved a driver distracted by a phone or texting, according the Ohio Department of Public Safety. However, officials say those statistics are likely significantly underreported.
By Jim Siegel - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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