The Epinephrine Auto-Injector Shortage and the Roaring Silence

The Roaring Silence (Apologies to Manfred Mann)

Hear that? The roar of the US Food and Drug Administration as it jumps into the fray of the EpiPen and Adrenaclick generic shortages to coordinate remaining supplies ensuring communities have access to the lifesaving devices? Do you hear that constant drumbeat of Pfizer and Impax providing consumers with day-to-day updates regarding their efforts to address their manufacturing delays?
No? We don’t either.
What we hear is roaring silence from big pharma and the agency that is supposed to regulate them to protect consumers.
In a reasonably functioning system, these pharmaceutical companies would be falling over themselves in efforts to assuage our fears, providing full transparency regarding their manufacturing difficulties, disclosing their strategies for overcoming them, and providing timelines for their resolution.

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In a reasonably functioning system, the FDA would be out front coordinating the effort, ensuring that pharma is doing everything they possibly can to address the shortage and that current stocks of auto-injectors are distributed where they are needed to prevent death-by-anaphylaxis. In a reasonably functioning system, you would call an emergency number set up by the administration to find an auto-injector nearby that can be filled with your prescription.
But we don’t have a reasonably functioning system. Our system is a disaster, where life-saving devices skyrocket in price then suddenly disappear from the market with nothing to mark their disappearance other than the sound of crickets chirping in the background.
In an effort to fill the information void, we ask that you please share your recent experiences finding auto-injectors. Were you able to fill your prescription in your community? Please tell us where. Are you still waiting to have yours filled? Please tell us what your pharmacist said about the expected wait time. Have you been forced to switch brands? Please let us know if you were successful and how you are faring.
Let’s do our best to keep each other informed in the absence of a reasonably functioning system. No one is coming to break the silence.
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