Schools can now buy Epi pens from pharmacies

It is now legal for schools to buy Epi pens without a prescription. This allows them to hold a stock of these self-contained injectable adrenaline devices and potentially save the lives of those who go into an allergic anaphlyactic shock.

Pupils – and staff – who suffer from a severe allergic reaction usually carry their own Epi pens. However minutes count when delivering adrenaline so having Epi pens in a known location at the school, may well prove a life-saving safety move.

Can a first aider administer an Epi pen to a casualty?

Generally Epi pens are designed to be self-administrated. Standard medicines legislation restricts use of a syringe only to those given instructions by a doctor (eg by a nurse). However there is an exemption in the case of adrenaline which means a layperson can administer it by injection in order to save a life.

Can you use someone else’s Epi pen?

In an emergency, where a delay might be fatal, Good Samaritan legislation applies and a lay person or first aider would not be prosecuted for taking timely action.

Does this cover all schools and nurseries?

Currently, this legislation only applies to schools and nurseries connected to schools – not private nurseries. Though it may be extended in the future.

Do schools need more training?

Here at Blue Cloud Training we have delivered many school-specific First Aid courses that cover anaphylactic shock and how to deal with it. Our course content is regularly updated to take account of any relevant new legislation and guidance. Contact us if you are interested in training new First Aiders or a refresher course. Tel 01332 898290 or 0121 3143381, or email

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