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Back to school season is upon us, which means getting your medical forms up to date for the new year. If your child has a life-threatening allergy, you’ve got one more thing on your checklist: EpiPens. Just before the start of each school year, parents who have kids with allergies need to refill that prescription. Only this year, there’s an EpiPen shortage.
Pfizer, which produces EpiPen, the auto-injecting device designed to deliver a life-saving dose of epinephrine in case of anaphylaxis, hasn’t been able to produce enough of the drug to support large demand (AKA every parent’s worst nightmare) due to regional supply distribution and manufacturer issues.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some EpiPens can be used past their expiration dates. If you’re having trouble getting a new EpiPen, be sure to check if your expired device can be used for an extra four months. The FDA’s website lists which EpiPen batches can be used beyond their original manufacturer's expiration date.