NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An EpiPen shortage has people with severe allergies worried, especially as school returns.
Many pharmacies around the city and country are coming up short when they type in a search for the device that treats life threatening allergic reactions.
The shortage started months ago partly due to manufacturing delays.
“It’s a life-saving drug and when somethings not available people need to have their EpiPen they need to have it in schools,” said Leon Taraseako, a pharmacist.
Demand for EpiPens typically spikes in August as parents need to give them to teachers, nurses and coaches.
A New Jersey mom’s 13-year-old son, Josh, has a serious peanut allergy. she says she picked up the last EpiPens in her town.
“I literally felt walking out of the pharmacy that I had gold in my purse,” said ??? Mandelbaum, whose son has severe peanut allergy. “People are having trouble refilling, they’re only getting partial prescription or they’re not getting anything
But there is some relief on the way. The Food and Drug Administration just approved a new generic version of the drug made by Teva pharmaceutical. So far it will be the closest thing to the simple to use EpiPen, made by Mylan, that dominates the market
“It’s a matter of when Teva is going to start shipping it to distributors so the pharmacies can get it on the shelves,” said Taraseako. “Hopefully it means the EpiPen shortage will sort of slow down.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge visited several pharmacies that are out of stock, including a Duane Reade in Midtown Manhattan that is on back order for EpiPens until at least September.
Doctors say if you’re one of the people waiting, there is an alternative.
“You go to your doctor you have a few syringe is of epinephrine drawn up and of course you’ll have to be taught how to inject yourself which is pretty easy,” said Dr. Len Horowitz, an attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital.
But for those awaiting the EpiPen, or the newly approved version, it can’t come soon enough.