The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday announced a shortage of EpiPens, the emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions, citing a manufacturing delay.
"Based on the information provided by the manufacturer, the FDA anticipates the EpiPen shortage to be short-term,” said FDA spokeswoman Lauren Smith Dyer.
“Drug shortages are a top priority for the FDA as they pose a significant public health issue in the U.S,” she added. “The FDA is committed to working closely with the manufacturers to resolve all shortages as quickly as possible.”
The response came after the advocacy group Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) raised the alarm about EpiPens earlier this week, calling on the FDA to “take immediate action to address a growing national shortage” of the devices.
FARE said that, since May 2, more than 400 people in 45 states have reported difficulty filling prescriptions for EpiPens.
Mylan, the company that makes the devices, stressed that the product remains available although there are “intermittent supply constraints.” Pfizer manufactures EpiPens for Mylan.
“Mylan and Pfizer take the supply of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors very seriously,” Mylan said in a statement this week.
“Our first priority is to ensure patients with a life-threatening allergy have access to epinephrine auto-injector products,” the statement continues.
The company said that patients can call 800-796-9526 for help in finding alternative pharmacies that have EpiPens.
“We are currently shipping product and our shipments have been increasing over the last few months, with April shipments exceeding projections,” Pfizer said in a statement.
Mylan has drawn scrutiny in the past for its sharp price increases for EpiPens, with lawmakers pressing for answers in 2016.