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EpiPen shortage advice issued

Many childcare providers will be caring for children who need to carry an Adrenaline Auto-Injector (AAI), such as an EpiPen to counter the effects of some allergic reactions. A global shortage of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr is causing some concern.

Manufacturers of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are experiencing interruptions in production which is impacting on supplies in the UK and around the world.

EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are Adrenaline Auto-Injectors (AAI). AAIs provide essential and life-saving medication for people who suffer from anaphylaxis - a severe allergic reation that may be triggered by foods, insect bites or stings or drugs.

For those who need to carry an AAI, the disruption to manufacture and delay in supply is concerning. Those who have been prescribed EpiPen or EpiPen Jr are being advised to speak to their doctor or pharmasist for advice on using different products. 

The manufacturers of EpiPen have been granted permission from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to extend the printed expiry dates on certain batches of medication. 

The affected lots, which have labelled expiry dates between July 2018 and November 2018 are listed in the table below.

Lot

Labelled Expiry Date
(end of the month)

Extended Use by Date
(end of the month)

6FA794J

07.2018

11.2018

6FA795Y

07.2018

11.2018

7FA112F

09.2018

01.2019

7FA106B

09.2018

01.2019

7FA283B

10.2018

02.2019

7FA251D

10.2018

02.2019

7FA250B

10.2018

02.2019

7FA265C

11.2018

03.2019

7FA265B

11.2018

03.2019

Important: the extended use only applies to the lots of EpiPen 0.3mg auto-injectors listed above.

The extension of use beyond the labelled expiry date does not apply to EpiPen 0.15mg auto-injectors or any lot numbers not specified. Patients must continue to adhere to the manufacturer’s expiry date labelled on any EpiPen not covered by the lot numbers above. www.epipen.co.uk

If you provide childcare for a child who requires an EpiPen, please work with the child's parents to ensure that the child has the medication that they need. If the injector that the child has is no longer in date, you must work with the parents to check the medication lot numbers to identify if the child has one of the EpiPens whose expiry date may be extended by up to four months and, if this is the case, note it on the child's record and have the parent or carer countersign it. 

If the child’s pen is out of date and cannot be extended, you should contact your insurer directly to seek clarification about whether or not you are covered to provide care in this situation.

You must ensure that you are following the manufacturer's guidance at www.epipen.co.uk and any guidance published by your government or regulatory body. The NHS guidance has been updated, and Public Health Wales has released this information for providers in Wales. 

There's also more information about anaphylaxis and the current AAI shortage from the Anaphylaxis Campaign charity.