Health Canada reports that manufacturer Pfizer has reported that a shortage of its EpiPen 0.3 mg auto-injector could lead to temporary supply problems in the coming months.
That does not affect the EpiPen Jr (0.15 mg), says the federal department in its release.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Canada reported this opportunity to Health Canada earlier this week.
Epinephrine auto-injectors – like EpiPen – are crucial for people with life-threatening allergies.
However, according to Health Canada’s own information, there will be an adequate supply of epinephrine auto-injectors in Canada to meet the needs of Canadians in the coming months.
He says he draws the facts from the quantities of EpiPen currently in stock at the pharmacy, added to those of another epinephrine auto-injector that pharmacies can buy.
Indeed, Health Canada indicates that the Auvi-Q auto-injector remains accessible to Canadians. Not approved domestically, it was made available for import last year after an emergency order was signed by the Minister of Health, in response to a previous shortage of EpiPen.
The Auvi-Q auto-injector has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The EpiPen and Auvi-Q autoinjectors provide the same dose of epinephrine, but unlike the EpiPen product, the Auvi-Q product has a retractable needle and an electronic voice guidance system, says the federal department.
He added that he will not hesitate to facilitate the importation of other epinephrine auto-injectors if necessary.
Pfizer also confirmed that EpiPen 0.3 mg is currently available and continues to be sent to Canada. The company explained that as a precautionary measure it began to manage the supply to provide patients with predictable access.
The pharmaceutical company expects the problem to be fully resolved by early October 2019.
There have been problems with EpiPen’s supply in recent years.