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UK patients told to use some EpiPens up to four months past expiry date amid shortages

Patients with severe allergies can use certain batches of EpiPen four months after their expiry date, the Government has said.

In a supply alert issued last week (28 September), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that patients can use some batches of EpiPen and EpiPen Junior, due to “limited availability for the remainder of 2018”.

“Limited availability”

The DHSC said: “EpiPen and EpiPen Junior will be subject to limited availability for the remainder of 2018. Mylan are now out of stock of EpiPen Junior and interruptions in the supply are anticipated to continue for the coming months.

“Mylan UK have obtained acceptance from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to extend the use of specific batch numbers of EpiPen 300mcg auto‐injectors, beyond the labelled expiry date by four months.”

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The DHSC also recommended that primary care professionals, including pharmacists, prescribe and dispense adult and child auto-injectors only to “those who truly need them, as any additional issuing to patients who are worried about the shortages could exacerbate the overall supply situation”.

Ongoing shortages

According to the DHSC, the global pharmaceutical company Mylan has had shortage issues with EpiPen for several months, due to manufacturing delays from its contract manufacturer Meridian Medical Technologies part of (US pharmaceutical company Pfizer).

“Stabilising supply is taking longer than anticipated and is affecting countries globally.

“Initially the delays affected the 300mcg preparation of EpiPen, however these have recently been extended to the EpiPen Junior 150mcg device,” the DHSC said.

“Limited supply will be received in October but is not foreseen to be sufficient to fulfil normal demand. Further deliveries are expected in mid-November, therefore there will continue to be intermittent supply constraints.”

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