Is there still a shortage of epinephrine injectors?

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — On May 9, 2018, the U.S Food and Drug Administration announced a shortage of epinephrine injectors.

Many parents depend on the potentially lifesaving device if their kid has a serious allergy scrambled to get their hands on one.

A year later, the  FDA says there is still a shortage of the drug. Its website lists four manufacturers of the injectors and shows the brand name EpiPen as experiencing manufacturing delays. The generic versions of the drug are listed as available.

Some local pharmacists, however, say it’s the opposite.

Aaron Williams with Brodie Lane Pharmacy in Southwest Austin says he has a supply of EpiPen injectors but the generic versions — often the less expensive option — are on back order.

“Best advice: reach out to your pharmacy,” said Williams. “See if they have any stock leftover from the shortage, talk to you doctor if you need to make a dose adjustment and move to the higher dose or they can seek a prescription for an alternative.”

The shortage doesn’t mean you can’t get an epinephrine injector.

Getting one may just take longer, depending on your pharmacy, when you need it, and if you already have an injector when it expires. 

“We would encourage everybody to check their expiration dates and start making plans ahead of time if they are down to several months remaining on their current pen,” said Williams. “And see if they could get on a waiting list on a pharmacy.”

Many families depend on epinephrine injectors. About 1 in 12 kids has some sort of food allergy. That’s two kids in each school classroom on average, according to Dr. Pooja Varshney with the Food Allergy Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center.

Read more on how the center is meeting that demand with our previous coverage here.

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