Worldwide Epipen Shortage Causes Panic

Whitney Durant, Writer

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A severe EpiPen shortage caused by manufacturing changes has prompted a panic among people with allergies and their families across the globe. This shortage has put many people, especially children, at risk as many states have laws requiring students with severe allergies to have an EpiPen, also referred to as an adrenaline shot, to attend school. “We’re in a national crisis with this shortage”, Dr. Doreen Kiss, a pediatrician, and clinic chief at the UW Medicine Kent-Des Moines Clinic said (CBS).

The shortage is due to manufacturing changes in response to FDA violations, and it has become so severe that the FDA is suggesting some people continue to carry their expired EpiPens until they can receive a new one (CNN). While it is currently unknown just how long this shortage will last, it is already affecting many countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia and it is predicted there will be another shortage in January with a second set of expiration dates.

This shortage could be affecting as many as two children in every classroom. One of these children being five-year-old Eden Morris from Washington. Morris should be starting school at Spanaway Elementary but cannot due to the school’s denial of his entry without an EpiPen. Morris’ mom, Chiquita, explained that she has been trying to get her son the potentially life saving medicine for over a year. When she tried to pay for it after her health insurance refused to pay the $700 bill, she couldn’t get one as all pharmacies she contacted were out of stock. “There’s nothing else that made me feel worse than my son telling me, ‘Mom, why can’t I go to school? Why am I different from other kids?” (CBS)

Morris is just one of the thousands of people affected by the Epipen shortage. The shortage has made and continues, to make a big impact around the world. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the company that markets Epipen, said the company is “working hard” to increase production and that supply should stabilize towards the end of the year. (BBC)

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