EpiPen shortages in Canada; U.S. unaffected
Last week, Pfizer, seller of EpiPens in Canada, published a disturbing press release saying that EpiPens would be unavailable in Canada for two weeks and then in limited supply thereafter (subsequently confirmed as through February).
Here is their release from January 11:
“As a result of a supply interruption, Pfizer is experiencing a supply shortage of EpiPen auto-injectors in the 0.3 mg format in January 2018. EpiPen is a medically necessary product with currently no alternatives on the market in Canada. At this time, there is limited supply of auto-injectors at wholesalers, distributors and at pharmacies. While we are working closely with our distributors to avoid long-term supply shortage at the store level, we expect a period of between two and four weeks of no inventory. Additional limited inventory will be supplied at the beginning of February 2018 which will be placed under allocation and we will continue to manage supply carefully.
Pfizer has advised and is working with Health Canada on this situation and we are exploring remediation plans to address this situation.
We understand and regret the challenges this shortage poses to patients. Ensuring continuity of the supply of our medicines is paramount, and this temporary supply interruption does not indicate an impact on the quality, safety or efficacy of EpiPen auto-injectors currently available on the Canadian market. Pfizer fully realizes the importance of this medicine to our customers and patients, and has taken action to minimize the duration of the supply interruption, including efforts to expedite delivery of available supply.”
Subsequently, we reached out to Mylan a few times to ask about any potential supply disruptions in the U.S. It took a week, but Mylan finally responded to us with a new statement put out today, calming any fears.
“Mylan is aware that Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company and Mylan’s manufacturing partner for EpiPen® Auto-Injector, has a temporary supply constraint for EpiPen® Auto-Injectors (0.3 mg) in Canada. Patients in the U.S. should not experience any difficulties in filling their prescription for a Mylan epinephrine auto-injector at this time.”
We hope this allays any concerns of patients in the U.S. who read the news out of Canada and we also hope those in Canada have enough epinephrine to carry them through this disruption or seek EpiPen alternatives elsewhere. “Don’t leave home without it.”