Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week
On Tuesday, Novartis announced that it would be making its Symjepi epinephrine shots available to local pharmacies in the U.S.. The generic pre-filled epinephrine shots, which have been used in hospitals since January, will soon be sold at retail pharmacies in both adult (0.3 mg) and pediatric (0.15 mg) doses. The increased availability of Symjepi is extremely important as epinephrine auto-injector shortages persist.
Why it Matters
Pharmacies and patients have seen a shortage of EpiPens since May 2018, according to Bloomberg. Produced by Mylan, EpiPens are currently the leading treatment for severe allergic reactions. However, manufacturing delays have resulted in difficulty accessing this medication, a trend which is expected to continue in the coming months.
Novartis’ alternative, Symjepi, is a small, single-dose, pre-filled syringe and device combination used for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions. This includes treatment of anaphylaxis which is a severe reaction to stinging and biting insects, foods, drugs, diagnostic testing substances and other allergens. It’s availability now is particularly noteworthy as demand of epinephrine-auto injectors are known to rise in the summer when parents renew prescriptions in preparation for summer camp and the new school year. Every year, as many as 200,000 people nationwide need emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food, so making these epinephrine shots more readily available is a welcome move to pharmacists and patients alike.
More healthcare news to watch:
- On Monday, a federal judge blocked a new Trump Administration rule requiring drugmakers to disclose list prices in TV ads just hours before the new rule was set to take effect. NPR.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest proposal would give the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the authority to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and private health plans. CNBC.
- Albertsons pharmacy is taking full advantage of a new Idaho law allowing pharmacy technicians to prescribe naloxone. Drug Store News.
- A new study suggests that mandates requiring clinicians to co-prescribe naloxone with opioids to high-risk patients increase naloxone dispensing. APhA.
- MLK Health Center’s free pharmacy in Louisiana helps nearly 2,000 patients who cannot afford their medications. KSLA.