EpiPen shortage: Pharma maker, retailer offer aid

July 15, 2019

EpiPens have been in short supply, but stakeholders are trying to fill in the access gap.

To help defray the EpiPen shortage, Sandoz is making its epinephrine injection available immediately in US retail pharmacies. Simultaneously, Walgreens said that the AUVI-q (epinephrine injection, USP) 0.1 mg auto-injector (kaleo) is available at Walgreens locations nationwide.

AUVI-q 0.1 mg is the first and only epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) approved by FDA for infants and toddlers weighing 16.5 to 33 pounds, Walgreens said in a statement. “Through this collaboration, Walgreens is the first national retail pharmacy to offer the entire AUVI-Q auto-injector product line, which also includes AUVI-Q 0.3 mg and 0.15 mg doses,” Walgreens said.

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All eligible patients with commercial insurance, even those with high-deductible plans, can obtain AUVI-Q at no cost, according to Walgreens. For eligible patients who do not have insurance or prescription drug coverage, kaléo may be able to support through the kaléo Cares Patient Assistance Program.

Meanwhile, Sandoz, a division of Novartis division, said it is launching epinephrine (Symjepi) 0.3 mg. and 0.15 mg Injection, making both the adult and pediatric doses immediately available in pharmacies.

Symjepi is a small, single-dose, pre-filled syringe and device combination as an alternative to epinephrine auto-injectors for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions (type 1), including anaphylaxis.

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FDA recently highlighted ongoing shortages of epinephrine auto-injectors from several drug manufacturers, Sandoz noted in a statement. “Patients and health care professionals are trying to navigate this critical shortage of self-injectable epinephrine products, which is why Sandoz is immediately making Symjepi available in adult and pediatric doses to patients at their local pharmacies,” said Carol Lynch, president of Sandoz Inc., in the statement.  “Our collaboration with retail partners will enable patients and their caregivers to conveniently access Symjepi, a cost-effective treatment option with a compact and user-friendly design.”

Sandoz launched Symjepi 0.3 mg Injection in hospitals earlier this year. 

Read more: Drug Shortage Help On Horizon