Pfizer Canada has advised Health Canada that there’s a shortage of its auto-injector EpiPen 0.3 mg and that its EpiPen Jr 0.15 mg is expected to be in short supply on Friday.
A shortage does not necessarily mean there is no supply available in pharmacies, but the company says there is limited inventory of both products and their availability is being managed nationally.
EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are used to deliver an emergency shot of epinephrine to patients who are at risk or have a history of a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
The federal agency says there are currently no alternative auto-injectors for anaphylaxis available in the Canadian market.
A shortage of EpiPen 0.13 mg was reported in January, and Pfizer said at the time it expected the problem to be rectified in early March. The company says the current supply constraints are due to delays at the manufacturing facility.
It’s recommended that patients have more than one auto-injector with different expiry dates. However, during the shortage, Health Canada advises that anyone who has an anaphylactic reaction but has only an expired auto-injector to use the expired product and immediately call 911.
EpiPen products expire on the last day of the month indicated on the product packaging. For example, a product marked as expiring in January remains valid until January 31.
Consumers are encouraged to visit www.drugshortagescanada.ca or contact Pfizer at 1-877-374-7361 for up-to-date information about the shortage and estimated re-supply dates.
Story by The Canadian Press