Many of us suffer from seasonal allergies, but some Texans have serious allergic reactions to a number of stimulants. Bee stings or peanuts are a common allergy that can cause serious harm if you are allergic. If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, a new law that went into effect on January 1, 2016 expands your healthcare options in an emergency situation. House Bill 1550 grants pharmacists the authority to administer an epinephrine auto-injector (epi pen) if a patient presents symptoms of shock.

Prior to the passage of HB 1550, pharmacists were legally prohibited from administering an epinephrine auto-injector to patient that entered the pharmacy experiencing anaphylactic shock. The pharmacists only option was to call 911 and wait or advise that the patient be taken to the nearest urgent care facility. This of course was an extremely difficult situation for the pharmacist who had the lifesaving drug sitting on their shelf often only feet away.

“This law is really about putting the patient first and freeing a pharmacist up to act when seconds truly matter.” said Texas Pharmacy Association spokesperson Justin Hudman.

Now that pharmacists in Texas have the legal authority to administer an epinephrine auto-injector, Texas has greatly increased the number of options for a patient in need of the lifesaving medication considering the simple fact that many of us live closer to a pharmacy than an urgent care facility or emergency room. This access is particularly critical for those experiencing first-time reactions, especially children.