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Allergy Today Newsbite: The EpiPen Junior Shortage - RESOLVED

20 December 2019: The EpiPen Junior Shortage RESOLVED

A shipment of EpiPen® Jr 150mcg adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors has been cleared today (20 December 2019) for distribution in New Zealand. This has been approved by Medsafe NZ as per their alert: https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/Alerts/EpiPen.asp#advice Mylan NZ has also provided an update, which can be seen on www.epiclub.co.nz iStock-875917042-766

The supply of EpiPen® 300mcg adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors is NOT affected.

At the beginning of December, we were advised by Mylan NZ that the supply of EpiPen® Jr 150mcg adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors was delayed because of a manufacturing issue, causing a temporary shortage. The manufacturing issue was found to be the detection of a low-level presence of another medicine, pralidoxime, in several batches of ​EpiPen® Jr 150mcg adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors. A batch has now been approved by Medsafe for New Zealand distribution.

Medsafe’s Advice for consumers and caregivers

“If EpiPen Jr is needed to treat anaphylaxis, it should be used. In the situations in which EpiPen® Jr is used, administration of adrenaline can be life-saving. The risk from not having adrenaline available to treat anaphylaxis is far greater than the risk of being exposed to a very small amount of pralidoxime. The risk associated with this impurity is very low. It is very unlikely and unexpected that presence of pralidoxime at the low level identified would be associated with adverse effects.”

The EpiPen® Jr (150mcg) is usually prescribed for children, weighing 7.5-20 kg.

Until normal supply resumes, supply may be restricted to one per patient.

Mylan NZ has informed health professionals including prescribers and pharmacists. If you have any concerns, please discuss this with your healthcare professional.

ASCIA Guidelines for adrenaline auto-injector prescription are available at allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/adrenaline-autoinjector-prescription


Penny Jorgensen, Allergy Advisor, Allergy New Zealand