EpiPen is an injection containing epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. Narrowing the blood vessels and opening the lungs can reverse severe low blood pressure, wheezing, severe skin itching, hives, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction like those stemming from insect bites, foods or drugs.
EpiPen is injected into the muscle on the outer thigh but it designed to go through clothing in an emergency situation. The auto-injector device is incredibly important and can save the lives of people who suffer from anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can become lethal within a matter of minutes. In 2013, President Obama signed into law, incentives for states to pass laws allowing schools to stock epinephrine and treat children who do not have a prescription for the drug. Those states are eligible for grants to stock their schools with EpiPens.
However, there is now a possibility that faulty EpiPens are on the market. A massive recall of over 81,000 EpiPens recently took place in the following seven countries:
- New Zealand
Thirteen lots of the drug company, Mylan's, EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. have been voluntarily recalled by Mylan due to the potential that the devices may contain a defective part that may result in the devices' failure to activate. The voluntary recall was issued after two reported incidents in which the EpiPens failed to work.
The impacted lots were distributed to the public between mid-December 2015 and the 1st of July 2016.
To date, Mylan is not recalling the EpiPen from the United States. Those impacted are encouraged to keep and use their current EpiPens until they get a replacement. They are also advised to follow directions on the product label and seek emergency medical help immediately after using their EpiPens, particularly if the device did not activate.
To obtain a new EpiPen, consumers can contact Mylan at (800) 796-9526 or [email protected].
This is not the first time that Mylan has been in hot water regarding its EpiPen product. In 2016, the company received heavy public scrutiny for increasing the price of its two-pack from $100 to $609. Parents were unaware of the price increase until they went to the pharmacy to get new EpiPens and were made aware of the change by pharmacists. Mylan acquired the right to market the EpiPen in 2007 from Merck KGaA.
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