Seek pharmacist advice for Epipens

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Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

A Bunbury pharmacist has urged South West residents requiring Epipens to speak to their pharmacist when trying to procure the life-saving device following a shortage of the product in the region.

This comes after Dalyellup College teacher Amanda Draper said she had to drive to Fremantle to locate an Epipen.

South West Hospital Pharmacy proprietor Travis Bailey said the shortage was not just localised to the South West.

“There is a shortage and it is not just in the region, it is Australia-wide,” Mr Bailey said.

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“So this is something the whole country is dealing with.

“Shortages are something a pharmacist deals with all the time so when the medication is something as critical as an Epipen and you have a pretty severe anaphylactic reaction involved, people become really concerned about the shortage.”

However, Mr Bailey said Epipens were still available for people in the region.

“It is not unmanageable, there is still stock available in the country,” he said.

“It is just the way to access it has become a little bit cumbersome and involved and time consuming.

“But that is the role of the pharmacist to get a supply for their patients.

Mr Bailey said the way Epipens were distributed had changed since the shortage.

“Most people would be used to rocking up at the local pharmacy, handing in a prescription and then having the medication handed over the counter to them,” he said. “With Epipen, now it is a little different in that the manufacturer has put these items on restricted supply.

“So they do have a supply, but they are just ensuring there is an accountability of where every syringe is going. I would encourage people to talk to their pharmacist.

“If they are not happy with the answer, ring around and try and locate an Epipen that way.”

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