EpiPen shortage: What you need to know

The makers of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. are providing the latest on what the FDA lists as a shortage of the devices which deliver the lifesaving drug epinephrine during severe allergic reactions.

In a statement to FOX 8 News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says "multiple factors have resulted in limited availability of EpiPen in certain areas in the U.S., including both pharmacy-level supply disruptions and a manufacturer issue."  It stresses the companies have product available, but there may be "occasional spot outages."  The FDA says it is "working closely with the manufacturers and monitoring their supply as the school year begins since this is historically accompanied by increased product demand."

On its website, Mylan says its manufacturing partner, Meridian Medical Technologies-- a Pfizer company-- continues to experience production interruptions.

A statement says:

"Over the past few months, there has been intermittent supply of EpiPen at wholesalers and pharmacies. We are actively exploring several options with Pfizer that would help stabilize supply."

Pfizer says it "takes very seriously the importance of EpiPen to everyone who needs it," and it is "working tirelessly to increase production and expedite shipments as rapidly as possible."

Pfizer stresses that, currently, supplies will vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. It says it cannot guarantee that the product will be available at all pharmacies.

Here is what patients need to know, according to Mylan:

  • Patients are encouraged to call Mylan Customer Relations at 800-796-9526 for assistance in locating alternative pharmacies.
  • Mylan says its team has successfully located product for patients who are experiencing difficulty accessing their prescription.
  • To further assist patients during this period of limited supply, Mylan has recently extended its customer relations hours to Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
  • Read more, HERE.

Pfizer also recommends the following:

"If you have supplies of unexpired EpiPen in quantities deemed medically appropriate by your doctor, we urge prudence in refilling additional prescriptions for any dosage of EpiPen during this temporary period of manufacturing constraints, in order to help ensure that other patients have access to this medication."

The FDA, on its drug shortages website, includes a list of epinephrine auto-injector products that are available from other manufacturers as well as contact information for consumers and health care providers.

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