US-wide EpiPen shortage and what it means for you

By Regional Health Command Europe Public Affairs

Due to a US-wide shortage of epinephrine autoinjectors (EpiPen. EpiPen Jr. and generic versions), Regional Health Command Europe has authorized a six-month extension to the pharmacy label expiration date for children attending Child and Youth Services programs or Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe.

“We have a special agreement with CYS and DODEA regarding this pharmacy label expiration extension to meet their requirements for children’s prescriptions,” said Matthew Nguyen, RHCE Formulary Manager.

Nguyen emphasized that this extension does not apply if the manufacturer’s expiration date has passed.

Children with epinephrine autoinjectors past the manufacturer expiration date will need to revisit their provider for a new prescription.

“For epinephrine autoinjectors kept outside a CYS or DODEA facility and stored in room temperature conditions, such as at home or at the office, patients may retain and use the medication until the manufacturer’s expiration date,” Nguyen said.

Because there is a shortage, the pharmacy team recommends patients check the manufacturer’s expiration date and plan ahead. Patients should begin trying to get a replacement about three months before expiration to allow for possible delays.

Army military treatment facilities must prescribe only FDA-approved medications and are not permitted to purchase European medications, Nguyen said.

If you have questions regarding your child’s EpiPen, please contact your Army Military Treatment Facility pharmacy or your child’s primary care manager.