Friday, January 28, 2011

School meds bill is sent to waiting room

A measure aimed at reducing potential red tape standing between a school child and their medication – especially life saving medication– was discussed today in Senate Education committee.

Senate Bill 12, by Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, would make changes to the law governing what school districts can and cannot do when it comes to medication taken by students.

Currently, children who need medication during school hours must have an official treatment plan approved by a physician which stays on file with their school in order to take medication. Brophy says he would like to see what he believes would be a more commonsensical approach involving less paperwork.

“This bill is about ending a two-day bureaucratic nightmare for parents to get permission for their child to take life saving medication,” said Brophy.

Brophy told the committee he became aware of the issue when his wife asked him why their son was not allowed to have an inhaler for his asthma without going through multiple hoops. Even after the plan is in place, the Senator believes there can still be gaps in treatment. Brophy told the committee his son’s inhaler was inaccessible when the school nurse was not available at his rural school, which must share school nurse time with other schools nearby.

The legislative chair for the Colorado Association of School Nurses, Kathy Reiner, told the committee the safety and well-being of children was their prime concern, and that having the treatment plans in place, even for over the counter drugs, is the only effective way of ensuring safety.

“When a student comes to school, there needs to be a plan in place because the student or school personnel may not be knowledgeable enough to know how to administer the drug,” said Reiner. “The school is acting as the ‘parent’ for the child and needs valuable information to keep that child safe.”

Bruce Caughey, speaking for the Colorado Association of School Executives said they were supportive of streamlining the process for parents, but also had serious concerns about relaxing the treatment plan protocol.

“The unintended consequences of opening it up too wide are too great,” said Caughey. “We take care of kids just like parents would and care about their safety.”

Committee chairman Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, said he was sympathetic to Brophy’s bill, but after considerable discussion it was decided to postpone action on the bill and retool the measure with more input from school nurses and administrators.

Brophy said he is willing to rework his bill, but he wants to empower the students and parents to manage their medication needs.

“I want to flip the assumption that most kids will abuse prescription drugs,” said Brophy. “Most kids can be trusted to self-administer medication that they need. And, moms love the idea.”

Via - Colorado News Agency

No comments:

Post a Comment