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EpiPen Shortage Nears 1 Year

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
In this July 8, 2016, file photo, a pharmacist holds a package of EpiPen epinephrine auto-injectors, a Mylan product, in Sacramento, Calif.

A nationwide EpiPen shortage is nearing its one-year mark, leaving many fearing the risks of anaphylactic shock.

Michelle Maurer is the school nurse at Bloomington High School. She said the reason for the shortage is unknown and there are no clues as to how long it will last.

“The problem with the shortage of EpiPens is that if one needs epinephrine, the need is immediate,” Maurer said. “So to not be prepared for a situation where one would need the immediate medication is very risky and could result in death.”

She said not only is the shortage problematic, but after EpiPen producer Mylan raised prices one package costs $600.

Many are holding on to their expired EpiPens for use in emergencies, but Maurer said that’s a gamble because there’s no telling if the expired medication will work.

EpiPens are used to stop severe allergic reactions where swelling in the throat closes one’s airway.

“We’re talking about life saving medicine here, so I think it would be unethical if we couldn’t figure out a way to help people,” she said.

She said Bloomington High School, like many others, has EpiPens stocked in case of emergencies.

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