EpiPen shortage causing concern for Idaho parents

Posted at 5:42 PM, Aug 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-25 19:43:23-04

Emily McCain navigates a tricky diet at only two years old. 

"We have vegan ranch...We have rice milk,"  said Emily McCain's mom. 

But it's a diet that's critical for keeping her alive. Emily needs to have an EpiPen with her at all times. Even the smallest bit of peanut or egg in the food she's eating could cause her to go into anaphylaxis shock. 

"With a toddler where you never know what's going to happen so going even a day without an EpiPen is a scary thought," said McCain. 

 Recently, it's been a lot tougher to have her medicine on hand. There's been a nation-wide EpiPen shortage since May, and last month her local pharmacy didn't know if they'd have medicine for her.

"I called in a refill, and we've never had an issue so it didn't even cross my mind and I immediately got a text from the pharmacy, and the estimated availability was a couple of weeks out." 

Pharmacies all over the state are struggling to stock EpiPens, but it's not pharmacy issue, it's a supplier issue. 

"We have to wait for them to get it on their shelves to come out to use, so it could be anywhere from a few days to a week and hopefully not much longer than that," said pharmacist Robert Boulier.  

Unfortunately, there aren't other alternatives for these reactions according to pharmacists. The new generic EpiPen brand hitting the shelves soon will hopefully help out with the shortage, but it's not a waiting game anyone wants to play.  

"Not having that EpiPen to rely on in case something happens that's really scary, because you're thinking of your child and their safety and a potentially fatal reaction," said McCain.