Pfizer Canada is reporting a shortage of EpiPen (0.3 mg) auto-injectors and taking precautions to minimize impact on Canadians
- Starting date:
- July 19, 2019
- Type of communication:
- Information Update
- Source of recall:
- Health Canada
- General Public
- Identification number:
Last updated: 2019-07-19
July 19, 2019
For immediate release
OTTAWA – Pfizer Canada is reporting that, while there has been stable supply of EpiPen auto-injectors in Canada in 2019 to date, a shortage of its 0.3 mg format EpiPen auto-injector may lead to temporary supply constraints in the coming months. EpiPen Jr (0.15 mg) is not affected by this shortage.
Based on information to date, Health Canada anticipates there will be adequate supply of epinephrine auto-injectors in Canada to meet the needs of Canadians. The Interim Order that facilitates the import of an alternative epinephrine auto-injector, Auvi-Q, remains in effect, and Auvi-Q remains available for Canadians to access. Health Canada will not hesitate to facilitate the import of additional international supply if needed.
The Interim Order was signed by the Minister of Health last year as an emergency measure in response to a previous EpiPen shortage. Approved in the United States, Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injectors deliver the same dose of epinephrine as EpiPen. Information for healthcare professionals regarding Auvi-Q, including how to order it, is available on Health Canada’s website.
Pfizer has also confirmed that EpiPen 0.3 mg supply is currently available and continues to be shipped. Pfizer has indicated that, as a precautionary measure, it has begun managing distribution of existing supply to help ensure consistent access by patients. The company is reporting that it estimates the issue will be fully resolved in early October 2019.
EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are used to deliver an emergency treatment of adrenaline (epinephrine) to patients who are at risk for, or have a history of, life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
Health Canada recognizes how important epinephrine auto-injectors are for people with life-threatening allergies. We are monitoring the situation very closely and working with Pfizer, the provinces and territories, and stakeholders to prevent impacts on Canadians who rely on these life-saving drugs.
Health Canada is also reminding Canadians that EpiPen products expire on the last day of the month indicated on the package (e.g., products with an August expiry date do not expire until August 31).
Canadians are encouraged to visit drugshortagescanada.ca or contact Pfizer Canada if they have questions about EpiPen availability. Patients should talk to their pharmacist if they have questions or concerns.