EpiPen supply returning to normal


Recent issues with the supply of EpiPens are in the process of being addressed, reports the Pharmacy Guild

The EpiPen shortage experienced in Australia has been a worldwide issue due to problems with the overseas EpiPen manufacturing plant, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has been advised.

However there are now limited stocks of EpiPens coming into Australia, with more received late last week that are now in the process of being labelled and distributed.

The TGA is monitoring the situation, and has provided the following advice to pharmacists:

  1. Patients requiring EpiPens can ask their pharmacist to phone Alphapharm on 1800 274 276 and they can provide a new EpiPen through the pharmacist.
    They have limited stock available now. This is a special procedure that has been introduced over the past few months to help with rationing EpiPens during the global shortage.
  2. Pharmacists can advise patients that they can retain their soon-to-expire EpiPens and use them in case of an emergency, as long as the liquid inside isn’t discoloured or contains sediment.
    The EpiPen has a clear window near the tip where you can check this. We have been advised by the relevant medical specialists at the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy that recently expired EpiPens retain much of their activity and can be used in emergencies.

The TGA has also organised a temporary supply of a similar product called Emerade from the UK and these should also be available in the next few weeks.

In addition a third company is looking to enter the Australian market with an EpiPen-like product in the middle of 2018.

The TGA advises that while it can encourage companies with EpiPen-like products (adrenaline auto-injectors) to apply to market them in Australia the government has no powers to force them to do so – it is a commercial decision.

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