Being diagnosed with life-threatening allergies can dramatically change a family’s life. Now, due to a major EpiPen shortage, it also means that many kids have to miss school. Read on to find out why.

According to CBS News, the United States is currently facing an EpiPen shortage, meaning drug-maker Mylan isn’t producing enough to keep up with the demand. Many American schools will not allow students with life-threatening allergies to attend without carrying an EpiPen, which means that as parents scramble to fill their prescriptions, their kids are left unable to attend school.

Photo: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

“We’ve been working tirelessly to make sure that patients and caregivers are aware of our customer relations number as we have been highly successful in locating product. We continue to encourage patients and caregivers who are experiencing difficulty filling their prescription to call us at 800-796-9526 so we can help,”Mylan said in a statement to CBS News.

This past summer the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the expiration date on many EpiPens by four months to help offset the shortage, but clearly that move hasn’t been enough as it affects up to two kids per U.S. classroom on average according to CBS News.

After backlash from shortages and significant price hikes to the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr., the FDA finally approved a generic version of the epinephrine auto-injector in August. While the approval of Teva Pharmaceuticals USA’s generic version will be a huge help when it’s ready, there is no word yet on when the manufacturer will begin rolling out the product.

“We’re applying our full resources to this important launch in the coming months and eager to begin supplying the market,” Teva said in August.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

 

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