MacDonald bill to allow police, firefighters to use EpiPens

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald has turned in new legislation to allow Michigan firefighters and law enforcement officers to carry and use auto-injectable epinephrine devices, known as EpiPens.

“In an emergency health situation, it is critical that responders can act quickly in order to give the individual the best possible care,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “Allowing trained first-responders to carry this lifesaving drug would give someone experiencing an anaphylactic response to an allergy, cardiac arrest or an asthma attack a better chance at recovery.

“This is especially important in situations in which a child is having a response to a previously unknown allergy.”

Currently, police officers and firefighters in Michigan are not authorized to carry or use epinephrine.

“It simply doesn’t make any sense that first responders, like firefighters, are required to use Narcan to save lives from heroin overdoses, but they are prohibited from using EpiPens to help someone experiencing a dangerous allergic reaction,” MacDonald said. “This reform will help save lives and improve care during the current nationwide supply shortage.”

Senate Bill 418 would allow a law enforcement agency or fire department that is prescribed auto-injectable epinephrine to purchase the EpiPens and distribute them to their officers or firefighters who have been trained in how to administer the drug.

MacDonald’s bill, along with a companion measure by Sen. Peter Lucido, will be formally introduced soon.

Recent articles by Consumer Reports and Bloomberg News report that a shortage of auto-injectable epinephrine continues due to manufacturing issues.