The current shortage of EpiPens hit the headlines again today as a cause of concern for people at risk of anaphylactic shock.
Supply problems of EpiPens are due to manufacturing issues. Two other brands of auto-inject device, Jext and Emerade, are also available.
RPS England Board member Thorrun Govind was interviewed on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme alongside worried patients and agreed it was a struggle for pharmacists to find stock. She added that pharmacists will be able to provide supplies and gave the following advice:
- Ask for your prescription in good time – several weeks at least to give your pharmacist time to find stock
- Even though the expiry date will state a particular month, the device will be valid until the last day of that month
- If you are prescribed a new brand, it's important to ask your pharmacist or another healthcare professional to show you how to use it, as there are slight differences between brands
- Ensure anyone else who might use the device on you knows how to use it too
Update! Since Thorrun's interview the Department of Health issued an alert stating certain batches of EpiPens could be safely used up to 4 months beyond the expiry date. Read here for more information.
Watch the interview here: