Should the short-term EpiPen shortage have you concerned?

Should the short-term EpiPen shortage have you concerned?
(Source: WBRC Video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Dr. Jeremy Allen with American Family Care said there have been a number of people who have rushed in needing epinephrine in the last three weeks.

"I've had patients on Highway 280 at the stop light turn left and pull into my office and rush from the waiting room in the back and we administer epinephrine for anaphylaxis," said Dr. Allen.

It's what you'll find inside an EpiPen. It's used in cases of severe food, insect or medical allergies. For those that depend on this life-saving medical tool, there's a short-term shortage.

The FDA reports that there are multiple factors that have resulted in limited availability of EpiPen in certain areas of the country, including both pharmacy-level supply disruptions and a manufacturer issue.

There have been reports of local supply disruptions and the pharmaceutical company behind the EpiPen's has reported manufacturing constraints, but continues to release the product.

"In the event it becomes an issue for the patients and the backlog from the pharmaceutical company gets bad, there's always the good old fashion pre-drawn pre-filled syringes is that we store for our patients," said Dr. Allen.

He said there is a demand for the product because of the amount of people who suffer with severe allergies.

The price of an EpiPen retails for about $600. The generic price is $300. Dr. Allen said for parents whose children depend on it - the amount is priceless.

"You know as a parent when you pull that EpiPen out and you administer it to your child, you can rest of sure, they are getting what they are supposed to get," said Dr. Allen.

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