The shortage of EpiPens is hitting Lloydminster. Health Canada has issued a warning that the supply of EpiPen in the 0.3 mg format is going to be limited for August and will likely be depleted in the coming days or weeks.
The Family Pharmacy in Lloydminster currently has three or four EpiPens left between all three of their locations. Pharmacy Manager Joel Lapointe says the increase of allergies in the summer has contributed to the shortage.
“You tend to use a lot more EpiPens during the summer months just because of those types of allergies and there’s only one supplier of EpiPens so all it takes is one hiccup in their production to cause this type of shortage.”
Pfizer Canada supplies the EpiPens to pharmacies across Canada and has informed Health Canada that a manufacturing issue is the cause of the lack of supply. The company does not expect to provide new supply until the end of August.
Lapointe says for the past year their supply of EpiPens has been on and off and for the last month it has got worse. The pharmacy is seeing more residents coming in to grab their EpiPen before they run out completely.
“Typically you don’t go through a lot of EpiPens, but of course once word gets out there everybody is making sure that they have one.”
Health Canada says people who are experiencing anaphylactic reaction should still use an EpiPen even if it is expired and then immediately call 911. Lapointe says the company is still supplying the EpiPen, but supply is limited.
“Pharmacies are being allocated some stock. Basically you have to try and every day to get an EpiPen, but they’re basically limiting how many end pharmacies are getting at a time to one per day.”
EpiPen Jr is still being produced.