The makers of the EpiPen are warning that a “very small number” of the devices could get stuck inside their packaging, delaying their use and possibly leading to disability or death.
Pfizer Canada has told Health Canada that in some cases, the label on the EpiPen, an auto-injector that treats anaphylactic allergic reactions, has been incorrectly applied and could stick to the inside of the carrier tube or outer packaging.
According to the company, that means the device might not slide out of its package quickly enough.
The products affected are:
- EpiPen (0.3 mg) (DIN 00509558) products that expire between April 2018 and October 2019
- EpiPen Jr (0.15 mg) (DIN 00578657) products that expire between April 2018 and October 2019
Pfizer is not recalling any of the devices, but is asking pharmacists and patients to make sure their device slides out properly before they’re needed in an emergency.
To do so, you should:
- Flip open the carrier tube cap, gently turn the tube upside down and let the device slide out into your hand
- Do not remove the blue safety release from the auto-injector device
- If your device sticks or does not slide out easily from its tube, or the device label has unglued edges, return it to your pharmacist for replacement
- Do not attempt to remove or re-attach the label under any circumstances.
The company said no cases of this happening have been reported in Canada.
Packaging woes aren’t the only issue affecting EpiPens: this summer, the company warned Health Canada that “manufacturing issues” could lead to a shortage of the live-saving device.
Health Canada says the disruption in supply continues.