Epipen and EpiPen Jr. in short supply
EpiPen injectors used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions are currently running short, and EpiPen Jr products may soon do the same, Health Canada said on Thursday.
Health Canada said Pfizer Canada had advised it of the short supplies.
“A shortage does not necessarily mean that there is no supply available in pharmacies. At this time, the company has indicated that limited inventory of both products remains available and is being carefully managed nationally,” the regulator said.
There are currently no alternative auto-injectors available in Canada.
Pfizer said the current supply constraints are due to delays at the manufacturing facility.
“Health Canada is reminding patients and caregivers that EpiPen products expire on the last day of the month indicated on the product packaging. For example, if the product is marked as expiring in January, it remains valid (not expired) until January 31.”
Generally, people are advised to have more than one auto-injector with different expiry dates.
“However, in this shortage situation, if you are experiencing an anaphylactic reaction and have only an expired auto-injector, use the expired product and immediately contact 911. Regardless of whether the product is expired, you should get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible following the administration of the product, as instructed in the product labelling.”
Canadians are encouraged to visit drugshortagescanada.ca or contact Pfizer directly for updates on the shortage and estimated re-supply dates.
The EpiPen Jr (0.15 mg) (DIN 00578657) is expected to be in shortage as of Friday, the company said.
Patients with questions or concerns about the shortage may also wish to speak to their health care professional.