Health Canada reports EpiPen shortage

By Charles Lefebvre - CHAT News
April 14, 2018 - 5:47am

MEDICINE HAT — Health Canada says there is a shortage of EpiPens for both children and adults.

The device, used to treat severe allergic reactions, has been short at several times this year for adults. On Thursday, Health Canada advised a shortage would be coming into play for EpiPen Jr., the device given to children.

Pfizer, the company which makes the EpiPen, says manufacturing issues are the main reason for the shortage.

Pharmacies across Canada still have EpiPens in stock, but it’s being closely monitored. Many EpiPen users carry multiple injectors on them, in case one expires.

Health Canada says people can use an expired EpiPen in case of an emergency during the shortage.

“Something is better than not having anything,” says Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical officer with Health Canada. “So, you can use that auto injector, even if it’s expired, and then call for emergency help right away.

“Whether it’s the emergency responders or in the emergency department in the hospital, they also have adrenaline that can be drawn up in a syringe and given as well.”

Sharma says Pfizer is expecting the shortage to be resolved by the end of May.

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