A shortage of epinephrine auto-injectors, more commonly called “EpiPens” has some residents in the Lakeland asking questions. Health Canada announced the shortage in a press release. The shortage is being blamed on a manufacturing issue from drug giant Pfizer Canada.
“Pfizer Canada informed Health Canada that the current shortage is due to a manufacturing issue with the EpiPen 0.3 mg format. Pfizer Canada is asking healthcare professionals to help manage the supply and pharmacists to keep this current supply situation in mind when dispensing EpiPen (0.3 mg) and EpiPen Jr (0.15 mg).”
The shortage is already being felt in the Lakeland. Sarah Waskiewich is a prescribing pharmacist at Tellier’s Drugs in Bonnyville. She says her stock of children’s EpiPens is still available but the adult ones are hard to come by.
“At this time we can not get in any of the adult ones. I know we are out. I’m not sure about other pharmacies in town but we don’t have any. It looks like we won’t get any until potentially the end of August.”
For anyone who may have an allergic reaction and need a shot, Waskiewich says to go ahead and use the Epipen you have regardless of the expiry date.
“It won’t be as effective, but that is your best bet. Call 911 right afterwards and make sure (you) are getting taken care of.”
This isn’t the first time supplies of the drug have run low. Pfizer Canada is expected to have more units shipped by the end of the month. Waskiewich says she certainly hopes that’s the case.
“Sometimes things change. Fingers crossed.”