After two years of advocating for greater access to this life-saving medication, Food Allergy Canada welcomes arrival of a second option for Canadians
TORONTO, ON – May 19, 2020 – The arrival of a second supplier for epinephrine auto-injectors is a big win for Canadians affected by food allergy or at risk of anaphylaxis. With today’s announcement, patients now have two options – kaléo’s ALLERJECT® and Pfizer Canada’s EpiPen® product.
Following two years of advocacy by Food Allergy Canada, the country is no longer a single-source market for epinephrine auto-injectors. By only having one source of supply of the medication, Canadians were vulnerable to the global supply shortages that had become a periodic, burdensome occurrence since 2018. For the more than 2 million Canadians living with this potentially life-threatening medical condition, having epinephrine auto-injectors consistently accessible is critical.
“Today is a great day for Canadians affected by food allergy,” said Jennifer Gerdts, Executive Director of Food Allergy Canada. “The supply shortages over the last two years created anxiety and underscored the urgency of having more than one option for epinephrine auto-injectors in this market.”
Throughout the last two years, Food Allergy Canada has worked with Health Canada and the Minister of Health’s office to address supply shortages when they occurred, including through an interim order of supply in 2018, while continuing to seek out a longer-term alternative. The organization thanks Health Minister Patty Hajdu and departmental staff for their commitment to the community. Through our collaborative efforts, Canadians with food allergy have one less worry today.
“Managing food allergy poses a daily challenge for those at-risk and impacts their overall quality of life,” says Dr. Susan Elliott, Professor, Geography and Environmental Management, at Waterloo University. “Measures that can help improve their ability to live safely and confidently, including greater access to life saving medication, will go a long way in alleviating some of the stress associated with this serious medical condition.”
Food allergy is a growing public health concern in Canada. As even a small amount of an allergen, if ingested, can cause a serious reaction. Reliable and consistent access to emergency medication in the form of an auto-injector is part of the daily regimen for those affected.
“An epinephrine auto-injector is the first line of defence in the event of an anaphylactic reaction,” said Dr. Harold Kim, President of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. “Allergists recommend that the auto-injectors be with those at risk of a reaction at all times so this life-saving medication is available when patients need it.”
The ongoing shortages reinforced the need to make food allergy a public health priority and highlights the importance of food allergy prevention and management, which inspired the creation of an evidence-based, National Food Allergy Action Plan. While Food Allergy Canada applauds today’s development, the organization continues to urge all Members of Parliament to support and adopt this plan.
About Food Allergy Canada
Food Allergy Canada is a national non-profit charity and Canada’s leading patient organization committed to educating, supporting, and advocating for the more than 2 million Canadians living with food allergy. We focus on improving the daily quality of life of individuals and families by providing education and support needed to effectively navigate food allergy, building informed and supportive communities, and acting as the national voice on key advocacy issues.
For more information please contact:
Empower Consulting, for Food Allergy Canada