The FDA this week declared a nation-wide shortage of EpiPens.
For people with serious allergies, an EpiPen is the most important item they put in their pocket or purse every day.
“I’m allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, and eggplant,” said Julie Hammond of Northampton. “They’re all life-threatening allergies, so if I am around peanuts even, my throat can start to close up. If I ingest them, my throat could start to close up, I could stop breathing. So I carry Benadryl and EpiPens with me at all times.”
Citing manufacturing delays, the FDA added two types of epinephrine auto-injectors as well as generic versions of the medicine to its drug shortage list this week.
EpiPens and their generic versions are still available, but you may have to call around.
22News called pharmacies in Chicopee, Holyoke, and West Springfield. Only one had the name brand EpiPen in stock, and they only had one dose left. It’s a dangerous situation.
“I did national ski patrol training, outdoor emergency care,” said Ellen Clegg of Northampton. “If there was one thing I would want to have with a group of people, it would be an EpiPen. It’s quite common, and there are more allergies these days than there have been, and it can save a life.”
It’s possible your insurance may not cover the alternate injectors your pharmacy has in stock, but EpiPen manufacturer Mylan has said their customer service line will help patients locate a pharmacy that can fill the prescription.
The medication is typically good for at least a year.
The FDA expects the shortage to be short term.