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Governor Signs Bill Ensuring Access to Life-Saving Medications in Schools

Huff Legislation Safeguards California Students from Serious Allergic Reactions

Legislation designed to protect schoolchildren from serious and sometimes fatal anaphylactic allergic attacks will become law in California after receiving the Governor’s signature of approval July 16th. SB 738 is follow-up legislation from SB 1266, which Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) successfully authored and the governor signed into law last year. SB 1266 required public schools to stock epinephrine auto injectors on campus so critically important medicine can be administered quickly and safely if a student suffers from a serious anaphylactic allergy reaction during school hours.

Recent data from the California School Nurses Organization shows that many schools who are trying to implement SB 1266 have not been able to comply with the safety guidelines because they have been unable to obtain the necessary prescription from physicians, who cite liability concerns.

“SB 738 will provide our physicians with the liability protection necessary and I’m pleased that the Governor also saw the need for this bill and quickly signed it into law,” said Senator Huff. “My office has received multiple reports now that this change in state law has benefitted students who were unaware that they were susceptible to potentially fatal allergic reactions. This policy is important and is working.”

SB 738 will provide limited liability protection for prescribing physicians writing standing order prescriptions in order to comply with SB 1266 and is similar to current law as it relates to liability for AEDs and opioid antagonists.

“We are thrilled and deeply indebted to Senator Huff, his staff and their commitment to the safety of our states students,” said Travis Miller, MD and President of the California Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology President (sponsor of SB 738). “We hope this bipartisan agreement and swift support of the governor now closes the loop on SB1266 to increasing the safety of students with severe allergies on our states primary campuses, creating a network of education, awareness and training.”

“Other states that require schools to stock life-saving epinephrine on campus also offer similar liability protections to physicians,” said Senator Huff. “California physicians will now have the peace of mind they need to ensure that our children have access to the medications they need.”

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