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Allergy Injectors

The cost of EpiPens has skyrocketed, making its maker a target for criticism.

DES MOINES | The House Tuesday unanimously approved legislation sponsors said could save lives.

After more than four years of discussion, the House voted 97-0 to approve Senate File 462 and send it to the governor.

"This really is a bill that could save children’s lives,” said Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City. The bill that would allow school personnel and volunteers to use epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens, when they believe a student is experiencing anaphylaxis -- a severe allergic reaction that can cut off a person’s breath.

Under current law, Iowa schools are only allowed to administer the medicine to students who already have a prescription. SF 462 makes stocking the EpiPens voluntary rather than mandatory, which some school officials saw as an unfunded mandate. Also, the pharmaceutical company Mylan, which manufactures the EpiPen, has agreed to give each school four free EpiPens.

A quarter of students with severe allergies have their first incident while at school, added Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, D-Cedar Rapids. School nurses have been pushing for years for the legislation, which she said is important in rural areas where access to emergency medical services may be miles away.

The House also approved:

-- Senate File 167, which floor manager Rep. Walt Rogers, R-Cedar Falls, said would make county government more accountable by banning severance pay for elected officials.

Rogers offered an amendment he said would make county government more transparent by requiring that before approving an annual budget that included any compensation increase for an elected official, a county board of supervisors would have to adopt a resolution detailing the compensation increase. The amendment, which was part of the original Senate bill, was approved on a voice vote. The bill was approved 95-0.

Because it was amended, the bill goes back to the Senate where SF 167 was approved 50-0.

-- House File 616 requires that property owners get a written notice by Oct. 8 of each year if their property valuations have been increased by the equalization order. The notice will include statement of a property owner’s ability to protest the adjustment. The bill was approved 97-0.

-- SF 426 establishes an alternative way to settle disputes following an “adverse health care outcome.” The bill, which goes to the governor, allows patients and physicians to have open discussions without going through the court system. According to the bar and medical associations, which support the bill, the process will cause less litigation as well as better consequences for patients and physicians. The bill was approved 96-0.

It now goes to the governor.

-- SF 135 requires all candidates not yet required to do so to file campaign reports electronically and make changes in the reporting thresholds for some campaign contributions. The bill would raise the reporting threshold for contributions, expenditures or indebtedness from $750 to $1,000. The bill was approved 97-0.

Approved 45-5 in the Senate, the bill goes to the governor.

-- SF 306 requires guardians of adult wards to take action to prevent communication between the ward and someone with whom they have had a relationship prior to the appointment of a guardian. Now a guardian can prevent access to the ward. Under the bill, approved 50-0 by the Senate, it is presumed the ward would want to continue communication with that person. The bill was approved 97.0

It goes to the governor.


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