Mylan Specialty pharmaceutical company is launching an EpiPen4Schools program to help schools better prepare for students with life-threatening allergies.
The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based company is offering four free EpiPen or EpiPen Jr (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors upon qualification, which includes having a valid prescription, to public and private kindergarten, elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S.
The products will be available in the form of two EpiPen 2-Pak cartons, two EpiPen Jr 2-Pak cartons or one 2-Pak of each kind. The company is promoting the program at www.EpiPen4Schools.com.
The EpiPen4Schools program is designed to help schools have improved access to epinephrine in the event that a person experiences an anaphylactic reaction at school, according to the company. This access is important because epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), which can occur quickly and without warning.
According to the food allergy guidelines developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a person experiencing anaphylaxis should use an epinephrine auto-injector and seek immediate emergency medical attention. Carrying an epinephrine auto-injector does not prevent patients from having an anaphylactic reaction; thus, patients must remain vigilant of their environment at all times.
Each school should have a comprehensive anaphylaxis action plan in place that emphasizes avoidance of the allergen, says Heather Bresch, Mylan CEO. The plan also should include awareness of the risks, preparedness for an emergency and access to epinephrine and immediate medical care.
"The EpiPen4Schools program underscores Mylan Specialty's commitment to helping schools become more aware of the risks of anaphylaxis and become better prepared to respond during an emergency,” she said in a release.
Anaphylaxis causes approximately 1,500 deaths annually, and children and adolescents are among those most at risk. Schools nationwide have made efforts to reduce exposure to allergens in the school environment. While practicing allergen avoidance is imperative, accidental contact can still happen, which is why it is important that epinephrine is accessible, according to the company.
To participate in EpiPen4Schools, a school nurse or other authorized school representative must visit www.EpiPen4Schools.com to download the order and certification form, then fax or email the form with a valid prescription.
In addition to the EpiPen4Schools program, Mylan Specialty offers a discount program through which schools can purchase, upon qualification, EpiPen 2-Pak (0.3 mg) cartons and EpiPen Jr 2-Pak (0.15 mg) cartons at a discounted price.