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Hypoglycemia treatment could be available for school children

School personnel should soon be allowed to administer a new nasal spray used to treat severe hypoglycemia.

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Baqsimi nasal powder, the first glucagon therapy approved for the emergency treatment of severe hypoglycemia that can be administered without an injection. Severe hypoglycemia occurs when a patient’s blood sugar levels fall to a level where he or she becomes confused or unconscious or suffers from other symptoms that require assistance from another person to treat. Typically, severe hypoglycemia occurs in people with diabetes who are using insulin treatment. Baqsimi is approved to treat severe hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes ages four and older.

The legislation (A.5127/S.1239) is sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, D-Bronx, and Sen. Shelley Mayer, D-Port Chester. The legislation passed both the Assembly and Senate unanimously.

“This new glucagon diabetes medication is less invasive and is administered in a nasal spray form, without requiring injections,” Benedetto and Mayer wrote in their legislative justification. “Current education law only permits injectable glucagon to be administered by trained unlicensed school personnel. This legislation will expand authorization to allow trained school staff to administer all types of glucose needed for the treatment of diabetes.”

Baqsimi, which is a powder administered into the nose, will come in a single-use dispenser that can be given to someone suffering from a severe hypoglycemic episode. Baqsimi increases blood sugar levels in the body by stimulating the liver to release stored glucose into the bloodstream. It has the opposite effect of insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels.

Injectable glucagon has been approved for use in the U.S. for several decades.The efficacy and safety of Baqsimi nasal powder glucagon to treat severe hypoglycemia was evaluated in two studies of 83 and 70 adults with diabetes, comparing a single dose of Baqsimi to a single dose of glucagon injection in causing a blood sugar response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Baqsimi adequately increased blood sugar levels. In a pediatric study of 48 patients over the age of four with type 1 diabetes, similar results were observed.

“People who are living with diabetes are at risk of their blood sugar levels falling below the normal range. There are many products on the market for those who need insulin, but until now, people suffering from a severe hypoglycemic episode had to be treated with a glucagon injection that first had to be mixed in a several-step process,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said when the treatment was approved. “This new way to administer glucagon may simplify the process, which can be critical during an episode, especially since the patient may have lost consciousness or may be having a seizure. In those situations, we want the process to treat the suffering person to be as simple as possible.”

Also delivered to Cuomo is legislation that limits on the fees landlords can charge tenants for key reproductions. A.2065/S.3666 is sponsored by Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, D-Corona, and Sen. Leroy Comrie, D-St. Albans, and limits the cost of a new set of keys to 110% of the actual expenses incurred by the landlord.

“Stories have appeared of landlords charging tenants exorbitant fees (upwards of $200) to make copies of keys to homes/apartments for tenants,” Cruz and Comrie wrote in their legislative justification. “This sort of price gouging serves as a very expensive punishment for tenants who need their keys reproduced, and is not an ideal landlord-tenant interaction. Bad actors necessitate this prohibitive legislation.”

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