EpiPen Supply Issues Reported in Some U.S. Regions

in Food Allergy, Food Allergy News
Published: April 24, 2018
Photo: Getty

For the latest update on the EpiPen shortage in the U.S., see Allergic Living’s article here.

One U.S. grocery-pharmacy chain says it is very low on stock of adult-size EpiPen brand epinephrine auto-injectors, and consumers are reporting availability issues at some other U.S. chains as well.

When asked about both Mylan’s branded and generic epinephrine injectors, Tracy Van Auker, Wegmans media relations spokesperson, said: “There may be a handful of stores with a very limited inventory of the adult doses. Both [branded and generic] adult doses are out of stock at our wholesaler and the other suppliers we utilize.”

Wegmans has 95 locations in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The stores still have EpiPen Jr. and the generic child-size devices available.

In her local outlet of the Market Street grocery-pharmacy chain in Plano, Texas, Denise Cervantes also could not place a prescription order for adult-size EpiPens. She says she was told: “They are currently on back order and the time frame is two weeks.” She was told this was the case for Mylan’s branded and generic devices. Allergic Living has reached out to find out whether supply is an issue just in Plano or across the Texas chain.

The U.S. national chain Walgreens told Allergic Living that it has adequate EpiPen supply, but some readers report encountering the need to back order at a variety of local Walgreens outlets. The same is being reported by CVS pharmacy shoppers, most of whom say they are being offered the Impax epinephrine auto-injector when an EpiPen prescription can’t be filled.

However, no official EpiPen shortage has been declared in the United States. Pfizer Inc., which has faced manufacturing delays that have led to announced shortages in Canada and the U.K., said in a statement that in the United States, “we are currently shipping product; however, supplies may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy.”

A media spokesperson for Pfizer, which supplies EpiPens to U.S. distributor Mylan NV, says the FDA “has not announced a shortage in the U.S.” However, the supply situation is not entirely clear, since the FDA told Allergic Living that its supply information is coming from the company.

“Mylan does not anticipate a shortage and we will continue to monitor this situation closely,” said Jeremy Kahn, an FDA press representative. “FDA is extremely concerned about any potential shortage of EpiPens,” he said.

Cervantes, who wanted to purchase EpiPens in advance of a trip to Japan, also had a prescription for Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injectors, so was able to purchase them instead. “I usually take at least three sets of two,” said the woman who has allergies to bee and wasp venom as well as shellfish. “I will need both for an allergic reaction.”

In Canada, there are currently shortages of the adult and child-size EpiPen devices. In the U.K., the shortage has affected the supply of the adult auto-injector. Pfizer Canada has blamed the shortage on “limited third-party quantities of a component for the product.”

If you have experienced any issues with EpiPen supply in the United States, let Allergic Living know by emailing: [email protected].

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