TO THE PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF THE STUDENTS ATTENDING SCHOOLS IN WELLPINIT
We are experiencing a widespread shortage of EpiPens across the country. This widespread shortage of EpiPens could send students with serious allergies to schools without the medication that prevents them from going into anaphylactic shock if they are exposed to their known allergen.
Currently in the Spokane area pharmacies have no supply of EpiPens or a "sparse supply" of EpiPens in stock.
Contacting the Wellpinit Health Clinic on 8/20/18 the clinical pharmacist informed me that they have only eight 2 pack EpiPens in stock. The pharmacist informed me that they will only dispense one EpiPen per patient and that patient must have a documented anaphylactic reaction to receive that one EpiPen.
On 8/20/18 I checked with the Wellpinit EMS and they have no EpiPens in stock to administer if the schools calls for a back-up. This is a major concern for our students who may need this life saving drug.
Today, 8/21/18 we received notice that the FDA has now extended certain EpiPen expiration dates to combat shortage. However this extension does not apply to EpiPen Jr which is used for children weighing between 33 pounds and 66 pounds and provides half the dose of epinephrine.
Because of this extension this will provide a safety net for the student who has a life-threatening allergy and needs the EpiPen to be available in the school environment until the manufacturers can address the shortage.
We encourage you to discuss this with your health care provider who is providing the health care plan for 2018-2019 for severe allergies. Also Pfizer has provided on their website the "Extended Expiration Dates for SelectLots of EpiPen 0.3mg Auto-Injectors and its Authorized Generic" lot numbers and the new expiration date beyond the manufacturer's original expiration date. Please check the website if you currently have an expired EpiPen.
Please contact the school at 258-4535 if you have any further questions and or concerns.
Our main goal is to provide a safe learning environment for your child.
Kathy Conlin RN MS
Wellpinit District Nurse