The worldwide market, including Drumheller, is in short supply of this life-saving device.
It was announced several months ago that Pfizer, the company who manufactures epinephrine would be in short demand of EpiPens this year and that trend continues from the latest reports. Many local pharmacies carry 10 or fewer Epipens at a time; in the winter time, that estimation is lowered.
Pfizer outsources their manufacturing of the Epipen to a third party company that supplies a specific part that triggers the pen to release its hypodermic needle. That particular part, being overwhelmingly manufactured, is what is slowing down Epipen production around the world.
Now, months later, the issue persists, with Pfizer, yet again, explaining that the month of August could see the pen in short demand if not completely unavailable.
"Unfortunately there's not much we can do about it right now," explained Ray Ainscough of Riverside Value Drugmart. "There's no other product out there so, we're kind stuck with what we can get in."
From the research that DrumFM has concluded, a huge depletion in both adult Epipen doses of .3 mg and Jr. Epipens of .15 mg are receding in volume. One fact in the research explains that there will be more Jr. EpiPens than adult doses coming to pharmacies in Canada.
"In this day and age, I mean, there is really no excuse in not having that product," Ainscough continued. "It's a pretty simple device when you really come down to it."
"At least with some of the drugs you can find an alternative for it. There is no alternative for this (Epipen) and that's extremely frustrating. Patient care should be coming first."
Ainscough says there are ways to take steps in securing that you can at least fight back if you ever find yourself needing emergency attention in a situation where you would need to use an EpiPen.
Keeping antihistamines on hand for situations involving an allergic reaction is one way to buy yourself some time before heading to the hospital. Another from Ainscough is that even if an EpiPen you may be carrying is expired, it can still be used to buy yourself time. Regardless of these strategies, your ultimate goal in a life or death situation involving allergies is to get to a hospital.