April 12, 2018 5:08 pm
Updated: April 13, 2018 1:40 pm

EpiPen shortage in Canada expands due to manufacturing issues

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A shortage of EpiPens in the country has expanded, according to Health Canada.

Supply constraints for the auto-injectors, which provide emergency treatment for people at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions, were first reported in January.

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READ MORE: EpiPen shortage for 0.3 mg dose, to be resolved by March

The shortage only applied to the 0.3-milligram form of the EpiPen at the time. The constraints were supposed to be resolved by March.

But the shortage persists. Supplies of the 0.15-mg EpiPen Jr are also seeing limited stock.

“A shortage does not necessarily mean that there is no supply available in pharmacies,” Health Canada explained, adding that quantities are just being managed more carefully across the country.

WATCH: Health Canada warns of EpiPen shortages across Canada

Manufacturing delays have caused the shortage, said Pfizer Canada, which supplies the injectors in Canada.

“These supply constraints are due to delays at the manufacturing facility and limited third-party quantities of a component for the product,” a news release read.

The company “regrets” the situation, and will work with its global network to help fix the situation, the statement added.

WATCH: How to use an EpiPen and recognize the signs of anaphylaxis

Pfizer is working with Health Canada to make sure that the products are allocated to wholesalers properly, it said.

There is currently no alternative product to EpiPens available in Canada.

The government agency reminded Canadians who carry EpiPens to check the expiry date before using the product. It explained that an EpiPen listed as expiring during a certain month can still be used until the last day.

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“However, in this shortage situation, if you are experiencing an anaphylactic reaction and have only an expired auto-injector, use the expired product and immediately contact 911,” Health Canada said.

Canadians with additional questions have been told to contact Health Canada or Pfizer.

— With a file from The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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