The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County is proud to work in close partnership with Epilepsy California, we work to pass legislation that supports individuals with seizure disorders. Together we have helped secure laws that protect students in schools, patient access to medications, and seizure first aid and rescue medication trainings throughout the State.
Epilepsy California is the recognized, unified voice of people with epilepsy throughout California. We are pro-active in developing a statewide epilepsy agenda, and advocate within state government and state agencies for public policy which ensures the rights of people affected by epilepsy to fully participate as contributing members of their communities.
Epilepsy California represents 1 million people in California with epilepsy and their family members. One in every 10 Americans will experience a seizure during his or her lifetime. Every three minutes a new person is diagnosed with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is defined as neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures and can develop at any stage of life; children and the elderly are particularly affected. Epilepsy can stem from a variety of causes including head trauma, brain tumor, stroke, infection, neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, genetic predisposition, and poisoning. Epilepsy remains a formidable barrier to leading a normal life by affecting employment, education, and everyday life. Even one episode will result in the loss of one’s driver’s license, leading to a loss of transportation that may result in the loss of employment—a situation that is detrimental to a family’s well-being and stability.
Issues and Legislative Priorities:
1) Patient Protection
Our number one issue is patient protection from breakthrough seizures.
Whether on a brand name or on a generic medication, patients need assurance that they will be getting the same treatment all of the time. Because the therapeutic window is often very narrow for people with epilepsy it is critical that each individual have access to the medication that provides the best outcome for them.
2) State and Federal Health Plans
Epilepsy California is closely monitoring the Covered California and the Affordable Care Act to advocate that the epilepsy community benefits from the resulting health plan(s).
ADVOCACY – RESEARCH – ACCESS: Medical Marijuana
The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County supports the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana.
The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County calls for an end to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) restrictions that limit clinical trials and research into medical marijuana for epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County believes that an end to seizures should not be determined by one’s zip code.
The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County will be doing the following to support improved access and research into medical marijuana:
1. Calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration to implement a lesser schedule for marijuana so that it can be more easily accessible for medical research.
2. Supporting appropriate changes to state laws to increase access to medical marijuana as a treatment option for epilepsy, including pediatric use as supported by a treating physician.
3. Supporting the inclusion of epilepsy as a condition that uses medical marijuana as a treatment option where it is currently available.
4. Supporting research on multiple forms of cannabis and seizures.