EpiPen Junior supply issue
IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION re: EpiPen® Jr 150mcg Adrenaline (epinephrine) Auto-Injector
We have been advised by Mylan NZ that the supply of EpiPen® Jr 150mcg adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors has been delayed. This means that there is a shortage of EpiPen® Jr in New Zealand. We will update this notice as more information becomes available, including when normal supply is expected to resume. Please note that the supply of EpiPen® 300mcg adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors is NOT affected.
Process for obtaining an EpiPen® Jr 150mcg Adrenaline (epinephrine) Auto-Injector
Mylan, the supplier of EpiPen® Jr in New Zealand, has set up the following process to ensure those at risk of a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), have access to the emergency treatment they may need:
- Patients requiring an EpiPen® Jr are being directed to contact their local pharmacy.
- Pharmacies can then contact the Mylan Consumer Freephone on 0800 168 169 or firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain instructions on how to access the emergency supply.
- During the current supply constraint, only ONE EpiPen® Jr should be dispensed to each patient.
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) has provided further advice on their website: https://www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/info-updates/epipen-jr-supply-update
Can a higher dose of adrenaline be given to a young child if no EpiPen ®Jr is available?
In Australia and New Zealand, there are currently two doses of adrenaline autoinjectors available:
- EpiPen® (0.3mg) is usually prescribed for adults and children, weighing over 20 kg.
- EpiPen®Jr (0.15mg) is usually prescribed for children, weighing 7.5 -20 kg.
Whilst 10-20kg was the previous weight guide for a 0.15mg adrenaline auto-injector, a 0.15mg device may now also be prescribed for an infant weighing 7.5-10kg by health professionals who have made a considered assessment. Use of a 0.15mg device for treatment of infants weighing 7.5kg or more poses less risk, particularly when used without medical training, than use of an adrenaline ampoule and syringe.
A general guide to adrenaline auto-injector doses
- Children under 7.5kg are not usually prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector. If anaphylaxis is suspected, only a 0.15mg device should be given. Higher dose adrenaline auto-injectors should NOT be administered to children under 7.5kg.
- In children weighing 7.5- 20kg, a 0.15mg adrenaline auto-injector should be used. However, if only a 0.3mg device is available, this should be used in preference to not using one at all.
ASCIA Guidelines for adrenaline auto-injector prescription are available at allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/adrenaline-autoinjector-prescription
Allergy NZ and Pub Charity Provide Free EpiPen® Auto Injectors to Kids in Need
Many New Zealand children with severe allergies will receive free, lifesaving EpiPen® auto injectors in the next year, thanks to FundaPen™ - a ground-breaking collaboration between Allergy New Zealand and Pub Charity.
From Monday 11 November, 2,500 free EpiPen® auto-injectors will be available to young people, who have a doctor-diagnosed allergy and are at risk of anaphylaxis.
The FundaPen collaboration follows numerous attempts in the last 15 years to have EpiPen® auto-injectors publicly funded through PHARMAC. It will directly benefit children between the ages of 2 and 18 years who are Māori, Pasifika, live in a quintile 5 region or hold a Community Services Card.
“The initiative should provide some relief for families who currently struggle to buy an EpiPen® at a cost of $120 to $350 each year,” Allergy NZ Chief Executive Mark Dixon says. “We have been doing all we can to have EpiPen® auto injectors funded and while this is by no means the ideal way, we hope it will help many families in the short term.” “We continue to hope that EpiPens® will eventually be publicly funded, as they are in Australia.”
Pub Charity CEO Martin Cheer says, “Pub Charity was delighted to support the FundaPen™ initiative and help young people with severe allergies to have the life-saving medication they need.” The $300,000 Pub Charity donation is strictly for the purchase of the EpiPen® auto-injectors from Allergy Pharmacy, who in turn will purchase them from Mylan NZ Ltd. Allergy New Zealand will not receive any financial benefit from the donation.
Miranda Munn said she was delighted that her daughter, Alanah would be receiving a free EpiPen® this year. “I know we have to have a current EpiPen® available for Alanah but finding that much money is very difficult. We also have other medical bills, including those for Alanah’s asthma.”
To obtain one of the free EpiPen® auto injectors, families will need to visit their family doctor. Allergy NZ is a 35-year old national charity that aims to improve the quality of life for New Zealanders living with allergies by providing evidence-based information and support.
Allergy Awareness Week 12–18 May 2019
Dedicated to the memory of Edyn Rubena-Misilisi
If you missed the Sunday documentary on food allergies, featuring the story of Edyn Rubena-Misilisi, you can watch it on Youtube or through TVNZ On Demand.
We are indebted to Bonita and Morris, Edyn’s parents, for sharing their story to raise awareness of food allergies.
Media release 29 April 2019
Allergy New Zealand and allergy clinicians call for a National Allergy Strategy
Read more here
Resources for Schools and Early Childhood Services
Schools and ECEs are encouraged to support children with food allergy through activities to raise awareness and understanding. The resources below have been developed by our wonderful National Volunteer Network – please use them.
Go here for resources for Allergy Awareness Week, including:
Allergy Awareness Week 2019 Poster
Allergy Awareness Week 2019 – Teaching Resources for Schools
Safety Tips Poster
Allergy Crossword Puzzle
Allergy Colouring Page
AAW 2019 Links to Teaching Resources.
Seen in the media, August 2018
Warning over hospital meals: 'Significant risk' to some patients.
Allergy New Zealand CEO Mark Dixon detailed the vigilance those with allergies feel they must take, to avoid potentially serious reactions.
Click here to read the full Herald article.
Banning foods in schools not the solution: Allergy Advocate
This week, the Herald also covered the discussion of food bans in schools, and spoke with author Jackie Nevard who explains that total food bans in school is not the answer.
Click here to read the full article:
Mid winter brings early onset hayfever to Canterbury
Newshub sat down with Allergy New Zealand CEO Mark Dixon to discuss the mid-winter rise of pollen in New Zealand, with Cantabrians noticing hayfever season settling in earlier than usual this year.
Click here for the full news broadcast.
Allergy New Zealand Media Release - May 2018
Read Allergy New Zealand's media release the results from our eating out with food allergies survey here.
Allergy New Zealand - PSA re: Peter Rabbit Allergy Controversy
Media release from Allergy New Zealand concerning the Peter Rabbit Allergy Controversy here.
Food Allergy Week, 13 - 19th May, 2018.
You can download our free, handy guide to keeping your friends with food allergies safe. Click here.
Tips for Back to School for children with food allergies, 2018
For a comprehensive list of resources and advisory material, please click here for our tips for getting your child and school ready for the year.
This has links to Action Plans, online training etc.
Well Child book now includes information about allergies and eczema
The new Well Child Tamariki Ora Health Book (WCTO Health Book) is now being issued to parents of new babies.
In this new edition, information about ‘Allergies’ (drafted by Allergy New Zealand) and ‘Eczema’ (drafted by the Paediatric Society’s Clinical Reference Group on Child & Youth Eczema of which Penny Jorgensen, our Allergy Advisor is a member) have been added for the first time. Both are under the section “Keeping your child healthy and safe”.
There is also an electronic version which you can view or download here.