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EpiPen shortage hurting Grande Prairie pharmacies

There is a shortage of EpiPens in Grande Prairie. There is a country-wide shortage of the injectors that is also affecting supplies at local pharmacies.

Pfizer said this week that the EpiPens it produces are in short supply, with the potential that adult doses may not be available at all in August. Walmart Pharmacist Janet Pratt says that the local shortage has already been going on for some time.

“We are experiencing a shortage on EpiPens for adults. It’s been like that already for a couple months where it was just hit or miss where we could get one or two in but now we don’t have any and can’t get any from any suppliers… and there are no alternatives which is the problem with the EpiPen.”

EpiPens are used to deliver a shot of Epinephrine to a person suffering from the life-threatening allergic reaction anaphylaxis. Prairie Mall Shoppers Drug Mart Staff Pharmacist Ashley Baxter says they tried to prepare for a short supply, but they now also only have a limited stock.

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“We’ve known for quite some time that the shortage was pending so we ordered in a large stock to try and make sure we had enough for our patients. We have sadly at this point almost run out. We have some of the ones for children left but none of the adult strength ones. We did our best to try and make sure that we could cover our basis but the shortage has caught up with us.”

Baxter says Shoppers is trying to work with the limited supply they have left until they get word of when more could become available. Right now it’s a waiting game.

“For our understanding, the shortage is going to be for the month of August. We may be able to get them again come September but a lot of times shortages are long-term and the return to stock dates aren’t always a sure thing. We will just have to wait and see when they’re available again.”

Pratt says Walmart received word on Wednesday that her pharmacy will be short until at least the end of August and possibly into the fall. Currently, there is no set date for when more EpiPens could become available.

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