Certain EpiPen Brands, Generic Versions Challenging to Find During Shortage

May 14, 2018 07:34 PM

Patients across Minnesota are busy trying to make sure they can get their hands on needed epinephrine brands in the case of a potentially deadly allergic reaction. 

There is currently a nationwide EpiPen shortage. The shortage involves brand name and generic versions. The shortage affects pens made by drug manufacturer Mylan, which is having trouble because of manufacturing problems.

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Pharmacists across the Twin Cities are telling KSTP they are getting pens intermittently, so they will go weeks and receive nothing from suppliers, and then randomly they will later get a couple into the pharmacy. For these reasons, it's hard to predict what the supply will be day-to-day. 

The FDA says it anticipates the manufacturing shortage will be short-term and that it doesn't mean people won't be able to get the injections. However, they will be more difficult to find, or patients may need to try a new brand. 

"They are all safe to use for an allergic reaction. I do recommend, though, that if the patient does switch the brand of injector that they make sure they are trained on that brand because they all work a little bit differently and when you are having a reaction, that's not when you want to find out that you have a different type," Amanda Elliott, a pharmacy supervisor with Allina, said. 

For those that rely on an injector, they need to go ahead and check the expiration date on the pen. If it's approaching soon, people should start early-calling different pharmacies to see what is out there. Being left with an expired pen in emergencies is not the least bit ideal.

Credits

Lindsey Brown

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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