*Update as of August 10, 2018: EpiPen shortage FAQs – get the answers to the most common questions about this shortage.*
As you know, Pfizer Canada has advised that there is currently a shortage of the EpiPen® 0.3 mg dose until late August 2018. Please read Pfizer’s statement and Health Canada’s update that were posted earlier this week.
Since these announcements, there have been many questions on what is being done to solve this issue in the short-term and what is going to be done to ensure this doesn’t continue to happen in the long-term.
Here’s the work we are doing on your behalf.
Advocacy in action: Increasing access to epinephrine
The supply constraints that have been happening throughout 2018 are unacceptable. We have been advocating across all fronts with our ongoing efforts to ensure our collective voice is heard.
Here’s what we’re doing to get this issue resolved and to help ensure it doesn’t keep happening:
- Advocating to Pfizer Canada and Health Canada for transparency and ongoing communication to the public. We’ve been pushing the conversation since the supply interruptions began in January 2018 through ongoing key stakeholder meetings.
- Raising the need for immediate access to epinephrine auto-injectors within the Canadian market. We’ve been in contact with Health Canada, all provincial Ministries of Health, and alternate suppliers approved in Canada like Kaléo (Allerject/Auvi-Q), Taro, Valeant Canada (Emerade), on what we can do to expedite their entry to market. As an immediate ask, we have inquired about the possibility of having these suppliers offer temporary supply of their devices to offset this shortage period.
- Calling on Health Canada to get answers from the US Food & Drug Administration and Meridian (the global supplier of all EpiPen products). We need answers on the root cause of these production and supply constraint issues, and the timeframe for resolution.
- Collaborating with our global patient group counterparts, like Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. to better understand the shortage situations abroad and to share information on how to best help the food allergy community manage throughout this period.
- Requesting a meeting with the Health Minister, The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, to press for greater clarity and a resolution to this issue – both in the short-term and long-term.
- Continuing our ongoing dialogue with Health Canada, Pfizer Canada, and all other key stakeholders to ensure the concerns of our community are being addressed throughout this process.
- Continuing to update you as new information becomes available.
Help us with our advocacy
We know there is a lot of frustration and anxiety over this situation. Over the last week, we’ve heard from many of you about not being able to fill your prescriptions for EpiPen and how this has impacted your daily life.
Here’s how you can help us further our advocacy on this issue:
- Tell us if you have been impacted by this shortage. Your experiences equip us to have informed conversations with the Government of Canada, pharmaceutical companies, and other key stakeholders on this issue.
- Take our 5-minute survey to share your story. Or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tell Pfizer Canada about your situation so they can respond to you directly, and to help keep this issue in the forefront until it’s resolved. Contact them at 1-877-EPIPEN1 (1-877-374-7361).
We will continue to reach out for your support to advance our advocacy with the Health Minister, pharmaceutical companies, or other key stakeholders.
Reminder: How to manage
You belong to a food allergy community that is dedicated and supportive, one that will come together to help one another to ensure there is as much access as possible during this shortage period. We encourage you to follow these tips to help you manage during this period:
- Check your devices for the expiry date. Remember that the expiry date refers to the end of the month. For example, if your device expires in August, it remains valid (not expired) until August 31st.
- Only get an EpiPen at this time if it’s needed, be mindful in requesting additional EpiPens beyond what is necessary to allow for as many people as possible to have access to this life-saving medication.
- If your local pharmacy does not have any auto-injectors in stock, please check with other pharmacies in your area. If a new auto-injector is not available, a recently expired device may be used to treat an anaphylactic reaction in an emergency situation during this shortage period.
- Share this information with your child’s schools, they should be aware of this situation and not be requesting additional devices from families at this time.
- Follow our safety tips on how to prevent reactions from happening.
For further information or questions about the shortage, please contact Pfizer Canada directly at 1-877-EPIPEN1 (1-877-374-7361).