FDA: There's a shortage of EpiPens, but it shouldn't last long

The manufacturer of Epi Pens faced criticisms regarding its ability to make functional Epi Pens in 2017

The manufacturer of Epi Pens faced criticisms regarding its ability to make functional Epi Pens in 2017

EpiPen autoinjectors deliver a dose of epinephrine in the event of severe allergic reaction, such as to bee stings or exposure to peanuts.

This was Mylan's first acknowledgment of possible United States supply issues following reports of EpiPen shortages in Canada and Britain last month.

"This will include a list of epinephrine auto-injector products that are available from other manufacturers as well as contact information for consumers and health care providers", Smith Dyer said.

The Food and Drug administration has declared a shortage of EpiPen and EpiPen jr. throughout major regions of the country. "Supply constraints" prevented adequate stock, according to the society's notice. Pfizer manufactures EpiPens for Mylan.

Allergy charities said there were anecdotal reports of some patients having difficulty filling prescriptions but there did not appear to be major supply issues overall, thanks to the availability of rival products.

The warning letter cites issues at the Meridian manufacturing facility dating back more than a year. The FDA said while the pens are available "supply levels may vary across wholesales and pharmacies".

Mylan joins companies like Turing Pharmaceuticals (pharma-bro Martin Shkreli's company) and Valeant (which rebranded this week to clean up its image) that pay fines for price-gouging but continue to operate.

"Epinephrine is lifesaving, tightening the vessels to increase blood pressure, and opening constricted airways", explained Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician from New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital.

"Our diversity and durability are what allow us to absorb evolving industry dynamics and natural market volatility, while at the same time accelerate our mission of providing access to high quality medicine", Heather Bresch, Mylan's chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Maria Said, CEO of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia, warned doctors against teaching patients how to draw up adrenaline using a needle, as some have reportedly been doing.

"It's relatively easy", Horovitz said. "Or go to your doctor, who would draw up several for you, and you store four in the fridge and carry one with you".

Patients also would not have to worry about air in the syringe causing an embolism.

"To self-inject is very easy", Horovitz noted.

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