Since Mylan Specialty L.P., the fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical business of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), launched the EpiPen4Schools program in August 2012, thousands of schools across the country have elected to participate and redeem free EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors. The program was created to help schools have improved access to epinephrine in the event a person experiences a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) at school.
"When anaphylaxis occurs, every minute matters—even one incident without access to epinephrine is too many. Through EpiPen4Schools we are helping make epinephrine available for those with known life-threatening allergies as well as for those who experience anaphylaxis while at school," said Heather Bresch , CEO of Mylan. "As we continue our commitment to improving access to epinephrine, we are delighted to see the immediate interest and uptake nationwide, and hope it continues. Several cases in schools across the country in which the free EpiPen Auto-Injectors were used to treat an anaphylactic reaction underscore the positive impact of the program."
The program offers four free EpiPen or EpiPen Jr 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 are available in the form of two EpiPen 2-Pak® cartons, two EpiPen Jr 2-Pak® cartons or one 2-Pak of each kind. EpiPen Auto-Injectors contain a single dose of epinephrine, which you inject into your outer thigh. EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are intended for immediate self administration as emergency supportive therapy only. Seek immediate emergency medical treatment after use. For complete program details, visit www.EpiPen4Schools.com .
"Starting in the fall of 2012, all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors, provided through the EpiPen4Schools program. To date, we have already had several events in Chicago schools requiring the use of these EpiPen Auto-Injectors. If symptoms of anaphylaxis are identified, a person should be treated with an epinephrine auto-injector and seek immediate emergency medical care after use," said Ruchi Gupta , M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University and Lurie Children's Hospital. "As we work with CPS to help facilitate the anaphylaxis policies CPS has implemented, we are pleased to see them having the intended effect."
Each school should have a comprehensive anaphylaxis action plan that emphasizes avoidance of the allergen. The plan also should include awareness of the risks, preparedness for an emergency and access to two epinephrine auto-injectors and immediate medical care.
Epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, which can occur quickly and without warning. According to the food allergy guidelines developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, if experiencing anaphylaxis, a person 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; hence, patients must avoid their allergic triggers at all times.
"We always remind families of the importance for students with known life-threatening allergies to have immediate access to epinephrine auto-injectors at all time. Through the EpiPen4Schools program, schools nationwide also are able to remain prepared should a student or school personnel experience anaphylaxis for the first time in the school setting," Dr. Gupta added.
Anaphylaxis causes approximately 1,500 deaths annually, and children and adolescents are among those most at risk for anaphylaxis. Schools nationwide have made efforts to reduce exposure to allergens in the school environment—a critical first step in managing the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions. While practicing allergen avoidance is imperative, accidental contact can still happen, which is why it is important that epinephrine is accessible.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that has many possible triggers, occurs quickly, without warning, and must be treated immediately with epinephrine. Symptoms may include hives or redness of the skin, tightness in the throat, nausea, dizziness, breathing problems, a decrease in blood pressure and/or fainting. Anaphylaxis can be caused by triggers such as food, stinging and biting insects, medicines, latex or even exercise. Epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. According to the food allergy guidelines developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, if experiencing anaphylaxis, a person should use an epinephrine auto-injector and seek immediate emergency medical attention. Epinephrine is a naturally-occurring hormone, also known as adrenaline, and it should be available at all times to patients at risk. Delays in epinephrine administration have been associated with negative health consequences, even possibly death.
About the EpiPen4Schools Program
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 to 1-973-718-4328 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternately, school representatives can call 1-973-845-7600 to speak with a live representative.
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. There is no requirement for a school to purchase additional EpiPen Auto-Injectors or any other Mylan Specialty products.
About EpiPen Auto-Injector
EpiPen Auto-Injectors are used for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions. Each EpiPen 2-Pak contains two single auto-injectors, instructions for use and a training device, with no drug product or needle, to help patients become familiar with the administration technique. EpiPen Auto-Injector should be administered immediately at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction. EpiPen Auto-Injector is not a substitute for emergency medical treatment. Patients should seek emergency medical attention immediately following administration. For more information about EpiPen Auto-Injector, please visit www.epipen.com .
About Mylan Specialty
Mylan Specialty, a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drug products for the treatment of respiratory diseases, life-threatening allergic reactions and psychiatric disorders. For more information, please visit www.mylanspecialty.com .
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in health care. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service a habit, do what's right, not what's easy and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a growing portfolio of more than 1,100 generic pharmaceuticals and several brand medications. In addition, we offer a wide range of antiretroviral therapies, upon which approximately one-third of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries depend. We also operate one of the largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers and currently market products in approximately 150 countries and territories. Our workforce of more than 18,000 people is dedicated to improving the customer experience and increasing pharmaceutical access to consumers around the world. But don't take our word for it. See for yourself. See inside. mylan.com
Source: Mylan Inc.  via PR Newswire