No auto-injector shortage expected despite EpiPen warning
A pharmacist holds a package of EpiPen epinephrine auto-injectors in Sacramento, Calif. this file photo dated July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rich Pedroncelli
Health Canada is anticipating a sufficient supply of epinephrine auto-injectors in Canada in the coming months, the agency said on Friday, following an earlier statement from Pfizer Canada warning of a potential shortage of its EpiPen 0.3 mg format.
Health Canada said Auvi-Q, an alternative epinephrine auto-injector, is still available to Canadians, and that an emergency interim order issued last fall in response to a previous EpiPen shortage, which allowed for the immediate importing and sale of Auvi-Q, was still in effect.
“Health Canada recognizes how important epinephrine auto-injectors are for people with life-threatening allergies,” the agency said in a statement, adding that it was following the situation very closely and would enact measures to import further international supply as needed.
Pfizer Canada said on Thursday supply of its EpiPen 0.3 mg format could be tight in the coming months and that it had begun managing its stock “out of an abundance of caution”, particularly ahead of the high-demand back-to-school season. It added that there was currently no shortage of the EpiPen Jr, the 0.15 mg version.
Pfizer informed Health Canada and reported the anticipated shortage on July 16, on DrugShortagesCanada.ca, as required by law.