TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- The EpiPen shortage, which began in May, continues with less than a week until the new school year starts.
10News reporters found nine drug stores around Tampa Bay that were out or low on EpiPens for adults and children. Millions of people around the country rely on EpiPens in the event of a serious allergic reaction.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Walgreens said, "While this continues to be a fluid situation with the manufacturer, many of our stores in Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, Fla. do currently have Epipen products available. If a particular store is out of stock, other locations may have it available."
Local drug stores where EpiPens are in short supply:
Walgreens, corner of Gandy Blvd. and Westshore Blvd: When asked this week, a clerk said they have none and that they were on backorder until the end of September.
Walgreens, 1001 S 78th St., Tampa: They said they have adult EpiPens but no juvenile ones.
Walgreens, 2295 E Bay Drive, Largo: They said they are out and are on backorder. The store said the generics have been on backorder for months and now the name brand is, too.
CVS, 5350 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota: They said they have adult ones but no juvenile ones, but are not aware of a backorder.
CVS, 2528 N McMullen Booth Rd., Clearwater: The store has EpiPens.
CVS, 625 W Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa: They said they have plenty for adults but only one for juveniles.
Walmart, 2677 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater: Has juvenile and adult pens but not many are left.
Walmart, 201 34th St. N, St. Petersburg: They said they are out and on backorder.
Walmart, 1208 E Brandon Blvd., Brandon: They said they're out and don't know when they'll have more.
Back in May, 10News spoke with St. Petersburg allergist Dr. Mona Mangat, who said she spoke with a local rep for Mylan, the manufacturer of EpiPen and a subsidiary of Pfizer.
“They told us that there was a problem with delivering the drug to the pharmacies, but that problem has ended, and there should not be a problem anymore. Patients should be able to get it. But they did add the caveat it takes pharmacies time to receive their new stock,” she said.
Back in September of 2017, the manufacturers of EpiPen reacted to FDA pressure regarding complaints about the device’s delivery system and its effectiveness.
A spokesperson said they put process changes in place that may have slow down the supply chain for a few months.
"We understand how important this potentially life-saving product is to patients, and are working tirelessly to increase production and expedite shipments as rapidly as possible. Currently, supplies may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, and we are working closely with Mylan to meet their global supply needs during this tight supply situation."
The company Mylan is using its Customer Relations Hotline to help people who are searching for Epi-pen and its generic. That number is 800-796-9526. However, the option they find may not be an affordable one depending on your insurance coverage.
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