As the EpiPen shortage continues, frustration and fear climb for Connecticut parents who are trying to get their hands on the life-saving product.
“I can’t even describe that fear of what’s going to happen. Is this going to be that one chance that it’s going to push him into anaphylactic shock,” Carolyn Janis said.
Janis said her local pharmacy is out of EpiPens for her 4-year-old son and she, along with other parents and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, demanded answers Monday from the FDA.
“This is not enough, this is not safe enough. We are unable to keep our children and loved ones safe,” Janis said.
The FDA announced the shortage in some parts of the U.S. last week, citing a manufacturing problem.
A statement Mylan released last week that while there are intermittent supply constraints, the product is available and the company is currently receiving continual supply from its manufacturing partner Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company.
On Monday, Pfizer released a statement saying its shipments have been increasing and exceeded projections in April.
“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.
The company stated the “constrained supply of EpiPen is due to supply of certain third-party components, along with process changes implemented which have temporarily limited capacity at our manufacturing facility.”
“I am demanding the FDA take emergency action to be sure of the manufacture of these devices,” Blumenthal said.
He said he plans to question the FDA on how long it’s known about the shortage and what it’s doing to make sure families that need the product won’t be left without it for long.
“They need to be more forthcoming with the facts if they know what the facts are. If you don't know them, that is an abject failure on the FDA’s part,” Blumenthal said.
Mylan said people should still be able to find alternative pharmacies by calling its customer relations phone number at 800-796-9526.
Janis said the shortage must come to an end before it’s too late for families.
“It is not an optional medication. This is a medication that is used in true crisis,” Janis said.