Renewed calls for EpiPen alternatives

Finbar O'Mallon
The Australian supplier of the EpiPen Jr has told pharmacists to limit sales to one per customer

Advocates have renewed calls for an alternative to the EpiPen as shortages to the child's version hits Australian shores.

Pharmacists have been told by the Australian supplier to limit sales of the EpiPen Jr to one per customer.

The devices administer adrenaline to treat allergic shocks, are produced by US pharma giant Pfizer and distributed locally by Mylan.

Simone Albert, who has been lobbying for the government to allow the sale of an alternative to the EpiPen, hoped the latest shortage prompted the government to act.

"There is no excuse anymore for not having this on the table," Ms Albert said.

"There has to be another option."

Ms Albert's 13-year-old son Oliver had a severe allergy which required an EpiPen and had started an online petition in 2017 during the then-shortage.

"We've been promised this wouldn't happen again, and the only assurance of that never happening again is to have another option," she said.

She has suggested the government allow the introduction of the Auvi-Q which she said was easy to use.

Ms Albert said most countries, like the United States or Canada, had more than one adrenaline shot for allergy sufferers.

The government regulator, the Therapeutics Goods Administration, said it was considering management actions to mitigate the shortage.

Mylan advised people that recently expired EpiPen Jrs could still be used and was expecting stocks to be back on track by the end of January next year.

It said the adult version was not affected.