EpiPens continue to be in short supply, and for students with severe allergies, it can become a matter of life or death.
Pharmacist-in-Charge at Student Health Services Marie Rupert said that when someone enters anaphylaxis, they only have moments to get help.
Though the EpiPen does not stop the allergic reaction, it postpones it enough to allow the person to get to the hospital.
Manufacturers have been unable to give the product to distributors, who then were unable to provide them to pharmacies.
There were instances in October and February where Rupert was unable to access the EpiPens she needed.
Part of the shortage was due to recalls on the product. The most recent recall came from a misplaced sticker making the product difficult to open, Rupert said.
Without EpiPens, alternative treatments to allergic reactions have to be considered.
Rupert said they often reach out to the community to see if anyone has any EpiPens available.
“Typically, in this past year, that has been no, we don’t,” Rupert said in regards to EpiPen stocks.
“I did not have to go so far as changing the medication out, to get them something else so that they have at least the drug,” she continued, “but we would cross that if we had to.”
“It might take three to six months for it to actually land in a patient’s hand,” Rupert said.
“As long as the liquid has not turned color, as long as it’s still clear, it’s fine. But the manufacturer does not recommend using it after the expiration date.”