Senate committee OKs MacDonald bill to allow police, firefighters to use EpiPens

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald’s legislation to allow Michigan firefighters and police officers to carry and use EpiPens to treat life-threatening allergic reactions is one step closer to being passed.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee on Thursday approved Senate Bills 417 and 418, sending them to the full Senate for consideration.

“In emergency situations quick action by first responders can mean the difference between life and death,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “Our responders are required to use Narcan to save lives from opioid overdoses, but unfortunately they’re banned from using an EpiPen to help someone experiencing a dangerous allergic reaction. It doesn’t make any sense.”

MacDonald’s bill, SB 418, would create the Law Enforcement and Firefighter Access to Epinephrine Act and allow trained law enforcement officers and firefighters to possess and administer epinephrine to individuals in situations of anaphylactic reactions.

SB 417 is a companion measure sponsored by Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, that would add law enforcement agencies and fire departments as “eligible entities” allowed to obtain prescriptions for and purchase auto-injectable epinephrine devices, commonly referred to as EpiPens, and distribute them to their officers or firefighters.

“Allowing trained first responders to carry this proven drug could save lives and improve the chance of recovery for someone experiencing an anaphylactic response to an allergy, cardiac arrest or an asthma attack,” MacDonald said.