EAI Injectors Still in Short Supply

One of the main reasons we are traveling to Albany is to advocate for a bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense and offer training on the lowest cost EAI device to consenting patients, unless specifically prohibited by the allergist. Kristen Stewart gives us an update on Epi-PenTM availability at pharmacies in the Albany area, which is most likely similar to Rochester. Unfortunately the news is not great as shortages remain. David Bloom’s article provides a list of alternatives to brand name Epi-PenTM so be sure to discuss them with your doctor if you are having difficulties filling your prescription.

EAI Injectors Still in Short Supply

EpiPen World Wide Production Line cartoon

By Kristen Stewart
May 8th, 2019

The numbers are in and they aren't looking good for epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) availability.

As the EAI shortage passes the 18-month mark, many news outlets have covered the topic and moved on. At the Allergy Advocacy Association, however, we think we should be doing just the opposite. The fact that this life-saving medication is still so difficult to find even after all this time deserves more attention not less.

Toward that end, we conducted our own survey on availability. We contacted 10 pharmacies in the greater Albany area on March 7, April 11, and May 1 of this year to find out the status of their brand name and generic supplies. The news was not encouraging.

In March, four pharmacies had brand name Epi-PenTM while eight had generics. Only one had neither available.

The news was slightly better by April. One less pharmacy had the brand name but nine were carrying generics so something was available at almost every location. Unfortunately, again one pharmacy had neither — though it was a different pharmacy than the previous time indicating all were receiving some supplies and then running out again.

We were hoping the upward trend would continue into May but ended up being very disappointed with the worst news so far. Only three pharmacies had the brand name and only four had the generic. Five (half of the pharmacies surveyed) had neither.

Clearly maintaining a regular supply is an ongoing challenge. The pharmacies receive periodic shipments but then sell out and must wait on backorders.

While the availability is discouraging, we will continue to keep the issue in the spotlight in hopes of better news in the coming months. In the meantime, the Allergy Advocacy Association will be gathering in Albany again this year for Food Allergy Awareness Day on May 15th. We will be advocating for pieces of legislation including a bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense and offer training on the lowest cost EAI device to consenting patients unless specifically prohibited by the allergist. 

We'd love to have you join us and lend your support! For more information please see the introduction for this article.

© Copyright Allergy Advocacy Association 2019

Editor's Note:
The following article is reprinted from the SnackSafely.com Website March 21st 2019.

FDA logo

Epi-PenTM Shortage Drags On

By Dave Bloom

For many in the US, the Epi-Pen shortage continues with families unable to fill their prescriptions.

As we have been reporting for almost a year, EpiPen brand epinephrine auto-injectors and Mylan’s generic version of EpiPen have been in short supply due to manufacturing difficulties at Pfizer’s Meridian unit, the manufacturer of the device. Meridian is currently under investigation by the Justice Department for their failure to adequately investigate and address problems with EpiPen.

On their Website in March, the Food and Drug Administration reverified that EpiPen’s manufacturing problems are still ongoing resulting in supply constraints:

FDA EpiPen table

As the shortage drags on, families without access to Epi-Pens are relying on old, expired devices until they can renew their prescriptions.

It should be noted that epinephrine auto-injectors from other companies are available, including Auvi-Q by Kaléo, the EpiPen Generic from Teva, and the Adrenaclick generic from Impax as well as the Symjepi prefilled epinephrine syringe from Sandoz. Note that you may need to have your prescription for EpiPen rewritten in order to switch brands.

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diagnosis, or treatment with a licensed physician.
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