There’s an EpiPen shortage as kids head back to school

Local News

Christine Maldonado’s little girl just started kindergarten this week.

Along with book bags, clothes and supplies, she had to worry about making sure she had an EpiPen…. several of them.

“We need to have two pens for each of us on us at all times,” she said.

But that’s not possible because of a nationwide shortage on EpiPens.

The Food and Drug Administration has the Epinephrine Injection Auto-Injector (EpiPens) on their medications short supply list.

For that reason, some people, like Christine, have been having a hard time getting them.

“It’s really upsetting, being a mother and knowing that something could happen to my daughter,” she said tearing up,  

“And [they] might not have that accessible to her. These are things that save people’s lives.”

The company that makes EpiPen is Mylan. They also make the authorized generic pens, two widely used allergic reaction treatments.

Wednesday, they released a statement saying in part, they are working to “increase production and stabilize supplies.”

As the school year approaches, many parents starting trying to get supplies of the drug for their children.  

Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.9 million children under age 18. That’s 1 in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom. About 30 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.

Because of the shortage, parent Kimberly Rogero decided try something else.

“That’s when I reached out and I learned about a program that Aviq has. It’s Epinephrin. It’s a different injection form,” Rogero said.

At Tampa General Hospital’s pharmacy, they too are feeling the pinch.

“We check everyday and we do recommend if people having trouble procuring supply that they work with their physicians,” said Clinical Pharmacist Mary Dansby.

TGH works with the manufacturer to mitigate any problems with patients receiving the drug.

They’re not alone. MacDill Air Force Base Pharmacy posted online how they are handling the short supply of EpiPens.

Meantime, parents like Christine and Kimberly, just think the problem needs to be solved.

“My daughter just started kindergarten on Monday so she needs to have her EpiPens at school,” Christine said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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