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EpiPen distribution ongoing, but will take time: TGA

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Mylan says it is currently shipping “thousands” of EpiPens each week, although a signalled supply of Emerade to help with shortfall did not pan out

Mylan/Alphapharm, the sponsor of EpiPens, has notified the TGA that distribution of EpiPen 300mcg Adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors via wholesalers to pharmacies is “ongoing, as shipments continue to arrive in Australia”.

According to the TGA, Mylan is currently shipping thousands of EpiPens every week, as soon as local packaging is completed.

“Patients should be reassured that while EpiPen Auto-Injectors may not be available immediately in each pharmacy nationally, they continue to be distributed and Mylan/Alphapharm are working closely with Pfizer to manage supply,” says a spokesperson for the TGA.

The supply issue, which has been blamed on manufacturing delays at Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company, will take some months for stocks to be replenished.

“We have received small quantities in sporadic releases,” says Victorian pharmacist Jarrod McMaugh, who added that he recently received only 7% of the quantity he ordered on the first backorder that was filled.

“They are around, but they aren’t readily available yet.”

In early March, the TGA stated it had organised a temporary supply of a similar product called Emerade from the UK, which was meant to be available in the late March.

However a TGA pokesperson has informed AJP that this signalled supply of Emerade “this did not proceed”.

According to Mylan/Alphapharm, pharmacies can do the following to help patients obtain an EpiPen® Auto-Injector:

  • Contact their primary wholesaler/s to obtain stock.
  • Order stock, even if the wholesaler portal is showing no stock, because stock is being shipped continually.
  • Refresh their EpiPen® 300mcg Adrenaline (epinephrine) Auto-Injector orders with wholesalers on a weekly basis, as backorders are being cancelled after any partial shipment of stock to pharmacies. Please note that if no stock is shipped then the backorder is retained for shipment when stock is available.

Mylan has advised that the supply of EpiPen Jr 150mcg Auto-Injector is not affected, however, pharmacies are encouraged to check availability with their primary wholesaler.

Pharmacies which are required to have an adrenaline on hand for vaccination purposes can alternatively use adrenaline ampoules if they are unable to obtain EpiPen through either wholesalers or directly from Mylan, says the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

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