• EpiPen drug makers confirm shortage

    By: Jason Stoogenke

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, NC - EpiPens are life-saving medicine for severe allergic reactions. A few days ago, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists announced a shortage.  Then Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared a shortage of the drug.

    The drug companies behind EpiPen -- Mylan and Pfizer -- say they've had a hard time getting certain "third-party" materials for the auto-injectors, but that things are picking up. 

    They told Action 9 they actually shipped more last month than expected.  They want patients to know EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. are still available, but that supply levels may still vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. 

    "We are currently shipping product and our shipments have been increasing over the last few months, with April shipments exceeding projections."  Pfizer told Action 9.  "The constrained supply of EpiPen is due to supply of certain third-party components, along with process changes implemented which have temporarily limited capacity at our manufacturing facility."

    "There are intermittent supply constraints; however, product is available, and Mylan is currently receiving continual supply from its manufacturing partner Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company. Mylan is expediting shipment to wholesalers upon receipt, and supply levels may vary across wholesalers and pharmacies," Mylan said.  "Mylan and Pfizer take the supply of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors very seriously."

    The food allergy group, Food Allergy Research and Education, sent the FDA a letter urging the agency to take certain steps to help consumers in the meantime. 

    Remember, there are other kinds of epinephrine auto-injectors on the market right now, besides EpiPen.  Ask your doctor and insurance about Adrenaclick and Auvi-Q.

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