EpiPens are used for people with severe anaphylactic shock caused by allergies such as peanuts, shellfish, bee stings et cetera.The automatic plunger delivers a dose of epinephrine to the body to combat an anaphylactic attack.
"They have contracted a third party to help make the EpiPen," informed Pat Doyle, pharmacist at Freson Bros. Pharmacy. "One of the components of making the EpiPen is being supplied by that third party due to manufacturing issues. That's why there are issues, claiming there to be a shortage of EpiPens, in the months to come."
Pfizer is the only manufacturer that supplies EpiPens globally. Thousands of Canadians rely on the EpiPen for emergency situations. Doyle believes that although there is a shortage coming, those allergic can still protect themselves in a timely manner.
"Be carrying Benadryl with you. That will definitely help as well; that's a good start," he advised. Doyle also mentioned that if you are in need of epinephrine, call 911. Regardless of what happens, you still need to see a doctor.
"It's the epinephrine that is the (active) ingredient. So, there are other ways to deliver the epinephrine other then the EpiPen," informed Doyle. "Epinephrine, by itself, is not short, It's just the EpiPen and the ways that it's delivered."
The third party that manufactures the mechanism that fires the dose of epinephrine into the body has not released a date for a resupply as of yet.