FDA issues EpiPen shortage alert: 6 things to know

The FDA posted a supply shortage alert for EpiPens and other epinephrine auto-injectors May 9, after patients and pharmacists in 45 states reported it was difficult to find the lifesaving allergic reaction treatment.

Here are six things to know.

1. Mylan's EpiPens and Impax Laboratories' epinephrine pre-filled auto-injectors were added to the FDA's list of products in short supply.

2. The EpiPen shortage was attributed to "intermittent supply constraints due to manufacturing delays from the manufacturing partner," the FDA website reads, noting that supply levels may vary across wholesalers and pharmacies.

3. The shortage of Impax's epinephrine injector arose from issues related to good manufacturing practices.

4. Although EpiPen shortages have been declared in the United Kingdom and Canada for at least a month, the FDA declined to announce a U.S. shortage until May 9, according to the Food Allergy Research & Education organization.

5. To understand the scope of the shortage, FARE created a survey. The survey found more than 400 people in 45 states indicated they experienced difficulties filling or refilling prescriptions for epinephrine injectors since May 2.

6. The FDA alert comes two days after FARE publicly called on the FDA, HHS and the Trump Administration to address the growing national shortage.

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