WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Mylan continues its EpiPen4Schools program this school year

Mylan Specialty announced on Wednesday that it will continue its EpiPen4Schools program this year in an effort to encourage schools to have an emergency response plan for students with severe allergies.

This will be the program's second year running. Last year, it gave four free EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors to more than 20,000 schools across all 50 states.

EpiPen Auto-Injectors contain epinephrine, a drug that helps stop the onset of anaphylactic shock when someone is suffering from a life-threatening allergy. Epinephrine is the only first-response allergy drug but does not replace the importance of emergency care.

An increase in awareness about the severity of allergies has been underway over the past few years. The goal of EpiPen4Schools is to ensure the faculty in a school is aware of what to do in the event a student goes into anaphylactic shock and to give them resources to use while awaiting emergency medical care.

"Educating the public about anaphylaxis preparedness and working to improve access to treatment continues to be an important focus at Mylan, which is why we are pleased to be able to extend EpiPen4Schools," Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said.

Anaphylaxis can occur without warning, as some people are unaware of their allergies. EpiPen4Schools is one way to ensure first-responders are knowledgeable about what to do and how they can help save a life.

"Anaphylaxis is life-threatening and can occur quickly, without warning," Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University and Lurie Children's Hospital Ruchi Gupta said. "In the last year, we've seen more than 20 cases of anaphylaxis in Chicago Public Schools and have felt the positive impact of being prepared with an anaphylaxis action plan and having immediate access to epinephrine - made possible through the EpiPen4Schools program."