A national EpiPen supply shortage has spread to some Coloradans, and that has some parents concerned about the potential impact on children as they prepare to go back to school.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, many patients rely on self-injectable epinephrine products, such as EpiPen, to reverse life-threatening reactions to bee stings or other allergies for either themselves or for their children.
But many patients may experience difficulties filling their EpiPen prescription due to a supply shortage.
Next viewer JP wrote the show, saying that when he went to his family's pharmacy to get three EpiPens -- one for school, one for her after-school program and one for home -- the pharmacist told him they only had one available. His daughter, he wrote, is allergic to many nuts.
"My wife and I are working professionals and do fine and we both have good insurance plans," JP wrote. "I am shocked that something as common as an EpiPen is difficult to get, yet alone if you are one of many Americans who are uninsured."
Mylan Speciality LP, a global manufacturer and marketer of prescription drugs including EpiPen, says on its website that the reason for the shortage is due to "intermittent supply constraints due to manufacturing delays from the manufacturing partner, Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company."
"Mylan is receiving continual supply from MMT and expediting shipment to wholesalers upon receipt. Supply levels may vary across wholesalers and pharmacies," the website says.
Next reached out to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to see if there were any local statistics
Mark Salley, communications director, said the CDPHE does not keep data showing the number of Coloradans who rely on EpiPens, or how the shortage is impacting the state's supply specifically.
Mylan asks patients who are experiencing difficulties getting an EpiPen to call its customer service line at 800-796-9526 for assistance in locating alternative pharmacies.
Based on Mylan’s information, the FDA said it anticipates this to be a short-term issue.
Alternatives to EpiPen do exist, such as AUVI-Q, although AUVI-Q is typically shipped to patients' homes. AUVI-Q is not eligible if prescriptions are paid for in part or in full by state or federally funded programs, like Medicare Part D, Medicaid, Veterans' Affairs, Department of Defense or Tricare, and where prohibited by law, according to the FDA.