One of the more popular drugs in the country, Epipen and generic epinephrine – used for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions – is experiencing a spot shortage, leaving some patients without their lifesaving drug.
Over the past month, shortages have been seen in both Canada and Australia, and they both turned to the United States in an attempt to curb their shortage. Unfortunately, this shortage has now spread to the United States.
So, when do we expect to see the end of this shortage? We’re not sure, but there is good news. Unlike the national shortages that Canada and Australia are currently experiencing, spot shortages are usually driven by distribution issues, rather than manufacturing issues. According to an FDA spokesperson, “Mylan is reporting adequate supplies of EpiPen for the U.S., and we will continue to monitor this situation closely.” Fortunately, it sounds like redistributing shipments should resolve the shortage soon.
This is not the first time Epipen has been in the hot seat. In 2016, Epipen sparked public outrage in as parents learned that the child’s EpiPen had doubled to $600 for two auto-injectors, there was a 2017 recall by Mylan as their EpiPens were failing to activate, and now, this.
If you’re having trouble accessing EpiPen, or the alternative epinephrine, here are some alternatives you can talk to your doctor about:
- Adrenaclick (epinephrine): Adrenaclick is a great option, and just like EpiPen it has a generic and a smaller dose for younger children. Generic Adrenaclick is available for around $100 at CVS, and has a manufacturer savings program that can reduce your co-pay to as little as $0 per fill. You can read more about this program here.
- Auvi-Q: During the EpiPen pricing controversy, manufacturer Kaleo made it their mission to develop an affordable autoinjector and released Auvi-Q. The average cash price for Auvi-Q is expensive, but the manufacturer has made it easy for many patients to access it for free through the Auvi-Q Affordability program. You can read more about this program here.
- Symjepi: This one was approved by the FDA in June 2017 and isn’t on the market yet. We also aren’t sure how much it is going to cost, although it is intended to be less expensive than EpiPen. For more information about this approval, read our previous post here.
Read here for more information about Epipen alternatives.