Hold on to your EpiPens: epinephrine injector may be in short supply in August

By Marina Wang

Pfizer, the company that makes EpiPens, has said that the emergency medical injectors will be in “very limited” supply across Canada in August.

“We understand and regret the challenges this situation continues to pose to patients. Ensuring continuity of the supply of our medicines is paramount,” reads a statement released on Monday.

EpiPens are used as emergency auto-injections for those suffering from life-threatening anaphylactic allergic reactions. People that may be prone to anaphylactic reactions often carry EpiPens on their person, and the reaction is most commonly caused by allergens in nuts, shellfish or wasp stings.

Pfizer said that the shortage is due to a manufacturing problem with the EpiPen 0.3mg-format, and the stock likely won’t be replenished until the end of the August. Meanwhile, EpiPen Jr, a 0.15-mg dose, will be in limited supply and carefully managed across the country. There is no manufacturer of EpiPens in Canada other than Pfizer.

EpiPens are good to use up until the last day of their expiry month, so if someone has an EpiPen with an August expiry date, it is safe to use until the 31st. However, Health Canada has advised that in the case of an emergency, an expired EpiPen can still be used, and the patient should call 911.

The August EpiPen shortage will be the seventh in the past two years. Previous shortages occurred in January and April earlier this year. “Due to manufacturing complexities and relatively short shelf life, inventory management of EpiPen auto-injectors can be challenging at times,” wrote a Pfizer spokesperson to the Toronto Star. EpiPens have a shelf-life of 12-18 months.

Some food allergy advocacy groups such as Food Allergy Canada are calling for introducing other manufacturers to the marketplace to deal with the occasional shortages. “In the interim, we have a shortage to manage, but then in the long-term, it’s about getting more than one supplier in the marketplace,” said Food Allergy Canada executive director Jennifer Gerdts to the Toronto Star.

2 Responses to Hold on to your EpiPens: epinephrine injector may be in short supply in August

  1. nonconfidencevote says:

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    Happy Housing Crash all you Realtors out there!
    Cant say we didnt warn you months ago.


    • nonconfidencevote says:

      And I cant WAIT for the Fall and Winter to truly kick the Real Estate ponzi in the “goolies”.

      ANYONE buying right now …
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