Health

Potentially Defective EpiPens Recalled

| by Simone Stover

A company issued a recall for EpiPen allergy shots, meaning those who are reliant on the injectors should check immediately to see if their particular injector is one of the units affected by this recall.

EpiPen is a product of a company called Mylan, but the actual units are manufactured by Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company, according to USA Today. On March 31, Meridian Medical Technologies issued a voluntary, nationwide recall of EpiPens within the U.S., citing defects. The recall will also be extended to Europe, Asia and North and South America.

"The potential defect could make the device difficult to activate in an emergency (failure to activate or increased force needed to activate)," said the company in a statement, "and have significant health consequences for a patient experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)."

The company also stated the recall was initiated in light of two cases outside of the U.S. in which users had trouble activating or were unable to active an EpiPen. Although only one lot of EpiPens is thought to be affected by the errors that caused the defects, a total of 13 lots are being recalled.

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The recall affects the 0.3 mg and 0.15 mg strengths of the EpiPen Auto-Injector distributed between December 2015 and July 2016, including the children's version, EpiPen, Jr. A full list of the 13 affected lots can be found on a page on Mylan's website specifically dedicated to the recall (Mylan.com/EpiPenRecall). 

This is not the first recall that has been issued involving EpiPens. In March, Mylan announced a separate recall for about 80,000 units from the Australian market, according to NPR. 

Mylan's website issued guidelines, which were updated on April 3, for those who think they may have EpiPens included in the recall. 

Customers should first check the lot number on either the EpiPen's carton or on the device itself. If the unit is one of those recalled, customers should call Stericycle at 877-650-3494. They will be given a voucher code to allow them to obtain a new EpiPen, free of charge. Customers can then visit their local pharmacies with the voucher to obtain their replacement. 

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Stericycle will also mail any customers with recalled EpiPen units pre-paid return packages with which they can return the potentially defective unit. 

Mylan urged customers not to return their EpiPens until they have received a replacement.

In addition, the FDA released a statement on March 31, in which it stated that customers with recalled units should use them if necessary, but (as always) seek emergency medical attention immediately afterward.

Sources: USA Today, NPR, Mylan, FDA / Photo credit: Greg Friese​/Flickr

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