Today, Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require that U.S.-based commercial airlines include epinephrine auto-injectors in their onboard emergency medical kits (EMKs). 

In their letter, sent this week after the FAA shared the
Aerospace Medical Association’s (AsMA) recommendations for EMK contents, Khanna
and Duckworth commend this first step by the FAA and also called on the agency
to move forward and modernize the required content list for onboard EMKs to include
epinephrine auto-injectors, as recommended by AsMA. 

“The stress, fear and panic that millions of food allergy families
endure is unimaginable, particularly when they are up in the air without normal
access to emergency equipment,” said Rep. Khanna. “I’m proud to work
with Senator Duckworth to request the Federal Aviation Administration recognize
the wide-spread need to equip passenger airline medical kits with epinephrine
autoinjectors. This is a simple step that will undoubtedly save countless lives.”

“Traveling with severe allergies can be difficult but, without
access to proper medication, it can also be deadly,” said Sen.
Duckworth “It is imperative that the FAA act quickly to ensure the safety
of passengers with severe allergies by including epinephrine auto-injectors in

“The worst place for a life-threatening allergy attack or reaction
to strike is midflight, tens of thousands of feet up in the air,” said Sen.
Schumer. “Ensuring that all aircraft are stocked with epinephrine auto-injectors
could be a true lifesaver. To keep the traveling public safe in the air, the
FAA must act quickly to require epinephrine auto-injectors in onboard emergency
medical kits.”

Rep. Khanna has been instrumental in leading the campaign for
greater funding into allergy research and treatment options. In the Fiscal Year
2020 Appropriations omnibus bills, Khanna helped secure an increase of $362
million in funding for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Disease (NIAID) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) with a directive to
invest in food allergy research, and an additional $10 million for the
Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) under the Department of Defense.
Khanna was also able to secure authorization for study of food allergies within
the PRMRP.

Sen. Duckworth is the Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce,
Science & Transportation Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety, where
she has been a strong advocate for aviation safety. Last year, Sen. Duckworth
and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) called on the
airline industry to reverse its efforts to prevent airplanes from being
required to carry life-saving medications, such as Epinephrine auto-injectors,
in onboard emergency medical kits.

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