Thousands Of Defective EpiPens Replaced Worldwide After ‘Life-Threatening’ Consequences [VIDEO]
More than 80,000 defective EpiPens were being recalled all over the world this month. The recall was initiated before the malfunctioning device leads to potentially deadly consequences.
Alphapharm is recalling EpiPen 300 microgram (µg) from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and some European countries, according to a press release from Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the company that markets the device. The affected devices (manufactured by Meridian Medical Technologies in Missouri, USA) have the batch numbers 5FA665, 5FA6651, 5FA6652 or 5FA6653 and an expiry date of April 17. Other batches work well.
Those who bought this defective supply that came in yellow packaging must go to their pharmacist immediately and have it replaced with a new one. The replacement is free of charge.
The defect is characterized by a malfunctioning part -- called the auto-injector -- that doesn't activate when in use. Other times the device needs added force to activate.
Almost 500 devices are being recalled in Denmark and around 2,000 in Norway. The countries of Finland and Ireland also received defective batches and are part of the worldwide recall.
EpiPens are used to treat allergic emergencies or anaphylaxis. The device injects epinephrine (a chemical that opens the lungs' airways and constricts blood vessels) to eliminate the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as hives, skin itching, wheezing and low blood pressure, among others. Allergies are caused by foods, drugs and insect stings or bites, Drugs.com listed.
A malfunctioning auto-injector can threaten the life of the person suffering from anaphylaxis. The delayed time can worsen the symptoms of anaphylaxis and result in more life-threatening conditions. Mylan confirmed two reports of malfunctioning auto-injectors.
The effects of the medicine wear off after 10 or 20 minutes. The device should be injected into the fleshy outer part of the thigh and not into a vein or into the muscles of the buttocks. Some of this treatment's side effects are sweating, vomiting, nausea, headache, tremors, dizziness, shortness of breath and pale skin.
Prescriptions for anti-allergy devices that aren't EpiPen have increased significantly in January and February this year. In December, there is only 5.3 percent of auto-injector prescriptions for its competitors, but that number increased to 14.8 percent in January and 28.9 percent in February, the CNBC reported.
The change was mainly attributed to the product's high price ($600 for a two-pack purchase). Mylan admitted that they increased the product's cost by 500 percent in recent years, and promised to lower the price to $300. The controversy's effects continue to be felt despite that price cut, though.