We have received an updated statement from Mylan regarding the availability of EpiPen® 0.3mg and EpiPen® Jr 0.15mg Adrenaline Auto-Injector. Our understanding is that Mylan are continuing to maintain a stock management process for the distribution of EpiPen® 0.3mg Adrenaline Auto-Injectors and this has now been extended to EpiPen Jr® 0.15mg Adrenaline Auto-Injectors due to persistent manufacturing delays. To read to the full statement please click here.
Anaphylaxis Campaign CEO, Lynne Regent said ‘It is disappointing to see that the continued restriction on the supply of EpiPen® 0.3mg has now extended to EpiPen Jr® 0.15mg. We will continue to work with Mylan to ensure that we are providing updated information to those at risk. It is vital that those who carry these prescriptions continue to follow our advice on managing their anaphylaxis safely.’
If you are prescribed AAIs, to be well equipped during this time, we advise you to.
- Check the expiry date on your medication regularly
- If needed, get a repeat prescription from your GP well in advance
- Do not dispose of any ‘expired’ AAI devices before you have a new AAI prescription
- Print out a copy of this statement to bring with you to your pharmacy and ask your pharmacist to contact their suppliers directly if they are experiencing supply issues
- If necessary, revisit your GP to ask if they can prescribe an alternative medication
- If you are prescribed an alternative AAI device, ensure that you know how to use it and train others that may need to use it in an emergency
Do continue to always carry your AAIs with you and follow your usual risk management techniques to avoid your allergen and reduce the likelihood that you will experience a severe allergic reaction and need to use your adrenaline.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis (pronounced ana-fill-ax-is) is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction that can be fatal. Severe symptoms such as a swollen tongue, difficulty breathing or becoming unconscious usually develop suddenly, often within minutes after being exposed to an allergy trigger such as a particular food, insect stings or certain drugs. There’s no cure for anaphylaxis, so people at risk have two options: manage their condition and carry adrenaline, a potentially lifesaving emergency medication. You can find out more about anaphylaxis in our anaphylaxis factsheet: www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/our-factsheets.
What is an Adrenaline Auto-Injector?
Adrenaline is the first line treatment for severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and is available on prescription in a pre-loaded injection device known as an Adrenaline Auto-Injector or AAI for self-use in an emergency. The AAIs prescribed in the UK at present are Emerade®, EpiPen® and Jext®. You can find out more about adrenaline in our adrenaline factsheet: www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/our-factsheets.
How do I check the expiry date on my AAIs?
As some of the additional stock available in the UK at present has an expiry date of October 2018, we are advising patients to check the expiry date on their Adrenaline Auto-Injectors when they receive them and not to dispose of any ‘expired’ AAI devices before they have obtained a new device.
Your AAI devices will have instructions for use printed on the outside and generally will have a shelf life of up to 18 months. The expiry date will be printed on the casing. Each of the three companies who distribute AAIs run an expiry alert service. If you register your device and expiry date with them, they will send you a reminder when it is due to expire.
Whichever devices you have been prescribed, it is important that you keep your AAIs in their original containers to prevent light exposure, do not store them above 25°C and do not freeze them. If the liquid in your AAI appears cloudy or discoloured, it should be replaced with a new device. If the liquid in the device is not cloudy or discoloured, the AAI device can still be used in an emergency.
What should I do if I have concerns about my prescription during a supply issue?
If you are worried about your prescription, we advise you to visit your GP and discuss this directly with them. If necessary, your GP can prescribe an alternative medication.
What should my pharmacist do if they are experiencing issues?
Your pharmacist should contact the supplier of your AAI through their distribution partner e.g. Alliance Healthcare, or their customer service department directly for updates regarding any issues they experience.
I have been prescribed a new brand of AAI, what should I do?
We believe your GP or pharmacist should make sure you know how to use your new brand of AAI. You should also train anyone who might be required to administer it in an emergency, such as family members and friends. You can order a trainer pen to practice with and find further help on the website relevant to the medication you carry.
An Emerade® trainer can be ordered from the Emerade® website: www.emerade-bausch.co.uk.
An EpiPen® trainer can be ordered from the EpiPen® websitehttp://www.epipen.co.uk.
A Jext® trainer can be ordered on the Jext websitehttp://www.jext.co.uk.
Can I get help with my prescription costs?
If you require support with prescription costs, prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) are available or you may be able to get help through the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS). Find out more on the NHS Business Services Authority website here: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-help-health-costs.
I have a different question, can you help?
You can contact our helpline and information team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01252 542 029 for support between Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.