A bill to allow restaurants, museums, zoos, sports leagues, camps, and other venues to stock non-patient specific epinephrine has been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature this session. Commonly called an “entity bill,” HF1604 would allow various entities to store epinephrine on-site without a physician’s prescription and use it in the event of an emergency.
If the bill passes through the Legislature and is signed into law by the governor, the Minnesota Department of Health will evaluate applications from venues that wish to stock epinephrine and ensure that their staff is trained in anaphylaxis recognition and epinephrine administration by approved trainers.
The bill sponsor in the MN House of Representatives is Rep. Nick Zerwas of Elk River. “I equate it to the AED (automated external defibrillator),” said Zerwas. AEDs are found in public places and available for anyone to use in an emergency.
Senator Jim Carlson of Eagan is the Senate sponsor. Carlson has worked on epinephrine legislation in the past, such as the school accessibility bill spearheaded by the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota (AFAA) in 2004.
AFAA has reviewed the bill language and offered suggestions for amendments that can offered during committee hearings. AFAA will work to organize witnesses to testify in committee hearings, and to rally public support and communication from constituents to their legislators.
The bill is anticipated to have a hearing this Friday in the House of Representatives Health and Human Services Reform Committee. Supporters who are constituents of committee members are encouraged to contact committee members to express their support.