Epinephrine is a life-saving drug that millions of children rely upon, so what happens when the most widely used allergic reaction treatment experiences a shortage? That’s exactly what is happening right now with Mylan’s brand-name EpiPen.
The FDA added epinephrine to its drug shortage list in May, leaving parents around the country scrambling to find a way to fill prescriptions for their children before the school year begins. If your child relies on an EpiPen to avoid dangerous allergic reactions, this is information you need to know!
How Does Epinephrine Work?
An EpiPen is an auto-injector that contains epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. It is a necessity for families with children who suffer from severe food, insect, or drug allergies that can trigger fatal reactions. Having an EpiPen on hand makes it possible to immediately prevent dangerous allergic reactions like wheezing, increased or decreased heart rate, and anaphylactic shock.
The Shortage Is Affecting the Entire Country
According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), a patient advocacy group, more than 80% of people surveyed across 43 states responded that they couldn’t fill or could only partially fill their prescriptions this summer.
The Shortage Was Caused By Manufacturing Delays
Specific details regarding the EpiPen shortage have not been divulged, but Mylan says it is “exploring several options with Pfizer that would help stabilize supply.” Pfizer has blamed “delayed shipments due to process changes” and the supply of “third-party components” for the disruptions.
The FDA Just Approved EpiPen Generic
In an effort to ensure that all children have access to the allergy medication they need this school year, the FDA just approved an EpiPen generic manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals. According to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the “approval of the first generic version of the most widely prescribed epinephrine auto-injector in the U.S. is part of our longstanding commitment to advance access to lower cost, safe, and effective generic alternatives.”
If you are currently having trouble finding the EpiPen your child needs before school begins, call (813) 670-7062 to make an appointment at Kratz Allergy in Odessa or Port Richey, Florida. Dr. Kratz can explain your alternative medication options and ensure that your child is safe from potential allergy triggers.