Allow access to epinephrine without a prescription
In October 2014, my 18-year-old son Dillon was finishing up yard work with a friend when he was stung by a bee. He didn’t know what happened, but he started to feel very ill. His friend called 911 and administered CPR until help arrived. By this time, Dillon's heart had stopped beating and he needed to be defibrillated. Dillon fell into a coma and passed away the next week from a fatal allergic reaction.
He’d never been diagnosed with an allergy, so he wouldn’t have ever received a prescription for epinephrine, a drug that could have stopped the reaction and saved his life. Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently mandates that an individual can only access epinephrine with a prescription, so it is not readily available in cases of emergency.
It breaks my heart that I couldn’t do anything to help my son after he was stung. Dillon was so outgoing, passionate and friendly -- he could walk into a room with 100 strangers and walk out with 95 new friends. He was going to do great things in this world. But such greatness was gone in no time because a prescription is required by individuals to access potentially life-saving epinephrine.
Tragedies like Dillon’s passing can be largely preventable with greater access to epinephrine. That’s why it’s vital that we convince the FDA to change how it classifies the medication, so those who might need it -- particularly in an emergency situation -- can obtain it.
In 2013, President Obama passed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which encourages states to enact policies to expand access in schools. Since then, several states have been pushing laws to provide epinephrine to schools, businesses, sporting events and more. First responders have also been given the ability to administer it in the case of an emergency in some places, but largely on a voluntary basis.
To get this done, we need epinephrine providers to apply for reclassification of the drug with the FDA. Over-the-counter access comes with its own concerns, so that’s why “behind-the-counter” classification makes sense here. It would give people the chance to purchase an Epi-Pen without a prescription, so they have it handy in the event of an unpredicted emergency like in Dillon’s situation.
I’m willing to spend the rest of my life fighting so that no other parent ever has to feel the way my husband and I feel with Dillon gone. We need to raise our voices together and ask the FDA to change its classification of epinephrine so that it is more readily accessible. If you'd like to learn more about Dillon or have any questions regarding this petition, please visit our website, http://epifordilly.com. Thank you for your support!
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