The hunt for lifesaving EpiPens

Patients and pharmacists are going to great lengths to get their hands on Mylan's EpiPen anti-allergy injectors in the face of a persistent shortage of the devices. Pharmacists are racing to keep EpiPens on their shelves, obtaining fresh supply whenever they can.

Patients and pharmacists are going to great lengths to get their hands on Mylan's EpiPen anti-allergy injectors in the face of a persistent shortage of the devices. Pharmacists are racing to keep EpiPens on their shelves, obtaining fresh supply whenever they can. Ashley Seyfarth, the owner of New Mexico pharmacy Kare Drug, says she "plays the back-order game," ordering from her wholesaler as soon as a shipment comes in regardless of whether she has prescriptions that need immediate filling. EpiPens can be especially difficult to track down at the start of a new school year, when sales tend to peak. Teachers and staff in school districts across the United States have been trained to use the devices, while few have been shown how to use alternatives like Adrenaclick and Auvi-Q. Pharmacists say that nailing down when they can get more EpiPens has been difficult. Carter High, owner of Best Value Rhome Pharmacy in Texas, says his wholesaler has pushed back the date when more injectors would be available several times. High says he has also had difficulty obtaining Mylan’s generic EpiPens. At times, he said he gave patients epinephrine, the drug delivered by a shot from Mylan's device, the "old-school way," with a syringe. He says he tells patients to keep expired EpiPens because it is "better to have something than nothing."