A bill proposing that NY restaurant owners be allowed to keep epinephrine injection devices (better known as EpiPens) without a prescription has passed the state Senate and Assembly, and is now on its way to the governor’s desk. This could save lives in emergency situations when restaurant patrons with food allergies have a severe reaction without their own prescription handy.
This is useful. Unexpected allergic reactions are scary and require immediate medical treatment. EpiPens buy you some time to get to a hospital before your throat closes up (or other bad stuff happens).
I almost died because I ate a Brazil nut last winter, and my insurance company still didn’t want to cover the EpiPen I got as a result. That’s because prescriptions for EpiPens are a bitch to obtain. They mostly come in 2-packs which run for about $500.
No word on whether restaurants will have to pay out-of-pocket for these. I doubt every restaurant in NY will be getting epinephrine doses in the mail for free. This is probably for the establishments willing to go the extra mile cover their asses, say, in the event that someone who ordered stir fry is poisoned because the dishwasher left some Pad Thai sauce in the pan.
I do hope that restaurant owners quickly and widely adopt this policy once it passes. First and foremost because I hardly keep my EpiPen on me. I know it defeats the purpose of having one, and I’m basically asking for sudden death; but carrying an EpiPen is for nerds. And I’m a cool kid. I won’t carry an EpiPen until fanny packs come back in style.
BTW, I recommend getting tested for allergies. It’s not that bad. They draw a grid on your back in black marker and prick you ~40 times (mine was 5 at a time, so only 8 times) with concentrated doses of known allergens. Categories include trees, grass, shellfish, nuts, etc. It could save your life if you’re genetically inferior like me.
Say it with me: EpiPen. One more time. EpiPen. Isn’t that fun?