My daughter has been had in her possession (or her mother’s, or mine) an Epipen for nearly a decade.
For those who aren’t familiar, an “EpiPen is an injection that contains epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. The allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) treated with the use of EpiPen include those from insect stings or bites, food, drugs, and other allergens.”
We discovered my daughter’s allergy to peanuts when she was two and a half, and ate a cookie. She also responds poorly to several tree nuts, which we found out a couple years after that. We, of course, are very vigilant about checking food labels. To date, we’ve never actually USED the device, though we have practiced with the dummy version of the Epipen: Blue to the sky. Orange to the thigh.
But, like most health aids, the Epipen has an expiration date, so this requires getting a new device a couple times a year. The schools loathe having outdated medicines on hand.
As it turns out, for a varirty of reasons, there has been a shortage of Epipens in 2018. To address this, “FDA is alerting health care professionals and patients of updated dates through which some EpiPens and the authorized generic version, manufactured by Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company, may be used beyond the manufacturer’s labeled expiration date.”
If you click on this link, you can look for the alphanumeric batch designation, the manufacturer’s original expiration date, and the new expiration date (beyond manufacturer’s original expiry date).
The thing is, I’ve always sensed that the expiration date was too short, which has made the process of keeping “current” devices at school/camp/et al to be costly and inconvenient.
In a related announcement, the FDA approved the first generic version of the EpiPen this month.