Health Canada issued a press release warning the current EpiPen® shortage affecting the country will likely not be resolved until March.
Due to a manufacturing disruption affecting Pfizer Canada – who manufactures the device for Mylan – the 0.3 mg format of the EpiPen will be in short supply throughout the winter, anticipating the shortage to be resolved by March 2, 2018. The shortage does not affect the EpiPen Jr 0.15 mg format which is readily available.
While Pfizer is working closely with its distributors to resolve the shortage as soon as possible, it expects a period of between two and four weeks of no inventory of the 0.3 mg format. Pfizer has advised that additional limited inventory will be available at the beginning of February 2018 and that it will continue to manage supply carefully. Pfizer is asking pharmacists to keep this supply interruption in mind when filling prescriptions.
Note that EpiPen auto-injectors expire on the last day of the month as indicated on the product packaging. For example, if the product is marked as expiring in January it remains valid (not expired) until January 31. In general, it is recommended that individuals have more than one auto-injector with different expiry dates to avoid being in the situation of only having an expired auto-injector. However, in this shortage situation, if an individual is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, Health Canada advises Canadians to use the expired product and immediately contact 911. As instructed in the labelling of the product, the patient should get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible following the administration of the product.
Canadians are encouraged to visit drugshortagescanada.ca or contact Pfizer directly for up-to-date information about the shortage and estimated re-supply dates. Patients with questions or concerns about the shortage may also wish to speak to their health care professional.