KDVR-TV – a Denver Fox affiliate – reports that a Westminster, Colorado family was forced to pull their three-year-old daughter from a preschool because the facility refused to accept the girl’s specific brand of epinephrine auto-injector.
“The way I felt was that I was being discriminated against,” said the girl’s mother, Katy DePue.
The daughter, Alayna, was prescribed the Impax Adrenaclick Generic by her pediatrician for a severe peanut allergy.
“I don’t understand how you can deny a prescription. If a physician writes a prescription for something, whether it’s a brand name or a generic, if that’s what the doctor says you need you can’t say no,” said Joseph DePue, Alayna’s father.
The daycare, operated by the City of Westminster, released a statement regarding the incident, asserting the specific brand of auto-injector posed safety issues:
The City of Westminster does not require parents to provide brand-name EpiPens. Generic alternatives are accepted. At the advice of the medical consultant supporting our licensed preschool and summer camp programs, we do not accept pens that leave the needle exposed after use. This is for the safety of the children in our programs and our staff. Our staff have referred parents to lower-cost and voucher programs for acceptable devices.
The Impax Generic does leave the needle exposed after administration unlike other brands that have a retractable needle or a cap the slips over the needle after use.
Given the current nationwide shortage, epinephrine auto-injectors are hard to come by and the Impax Generic is sold for hundreds less than Mylan’s EpiPen Generic.
“I called all the major stores, Walgreens, CVS, Safeway, King Soopers, every single one of them said we’re out of it,” said Katy DePue, referring to Mylan’s EpiPen brand.
Alayna has since been enrolled in another daycare that accepts her brand of auto-injector.
The City of Westminster promises to review its current policy in a statement made to KDVR:
The City of Westminster is committed to ongoing review of policies and practices. Because of this complaint, we are evaluating our epinephrine auto-injector policy. At the same time, it is important to note that we serve hundreds of children every year in our licensed child care programs—many of whom require epinephrine auto-injectors—and this is the first time we are tracking a complaint about our policy. We are aware of many other families who have been able to secure affordable auto-injectors that meet our safety standards.
See KDVR-TV’s video report here: