Everyone in Massachusetts - Call Your Rep and Senator!

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2001 - 4:46am
Heather's picture
Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

Just got this e-mail from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. We in Massachusetts have some work to do! Everyone, please call your State Rep and Senator and ask that they see to it that this Epi Pen Bill passes - we need it!

Dear Friends,

Now is the time to call your state representative and state legislator if you
want to support a bill that would require all emergency personnel to be
trained to carry and administer epinephrine for severe allergic reactions.
Currently only two classes of ambulance personnel are required to carry
epinephrine - the third class is optional by community, and police and fire
emergency responders are not yet required to carry epinephrine, even though
they are often the first emergency responders on the scene.

The bill (House 1757) had a good hearing by the legislative Joint Committee
on Health Care on April. We helped to organize a very impressive and
emotional group of speakers for that hearing - and many of you called, and
sent letters and e-mails at that time.

The Joint Health Care Committee has heard over 1000 bills this year. It is
our understanding that the committee must now, by the end of June, deal with
each of the bills by either (1) voting it out of committee with a
recommendation that the full legislature approve or modify the bill, (2)
voting not to let the bill out of committee, which kills it, or (3)
recommending a study, which usually means the bill dies on the shelf.

We at the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America/New England Chapter, want to
see the bill passed this year. Unfortunately, the Commissioner of Public
Health has written a letter to the Health Care Committee saying that
anaphylaxis is a rare problem, that it is even rarer to have an anaphylactic
reaction without prior warning, that people subject to anaphylaxis should
just be trained to carry their own epipens, and that local communities should
each institute a planning process whereby they determine who in town is
subject to anaphylaxis, and they can then decide where to locate epipens. We
sent a letter to Commissioner Howard Koh, taking issue with his statistics
and approach, and sent copies to the Health Care Committee.
An aide to the vice-chair of the Health Care Committee says to call your
state legislator now to express your interest in this bill. He says that at
this point, calls are better than letters or e-mails. Ask your own state
representative and state senator to try to make sure that the Health Care
Committee approves this bill - because whoever it is in your family is at
risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction, and you want to know that
whether you are at home, school, camp, the beach, a restaurant or movie in
another town, that if you need to call 911, the emergency responder will be
able to administer an epipen!

Then, I am told, your representative and senator, and those on the health
Care Committee, will all be able to say that they are getting lots of calls
from their constituents who want this bill passed.

If you have any questions, please call us. If you want to find out who your
state rep or senator is, call the main number at the State House at
617-722-2000 or look at the state website at [url="http://www.state.ma.us."]www.state.ma.us.[/url]

Patricia Goldman
Executive Director
Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America/New England Chapter
220 Boylston Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
phone: 617-965-7771 - toll-free 1-877-2-ASTHMA

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