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Kent mum hits out at shortage of lifesaving EpiPens

A worldwide shortage of lifesaving EpiPens is forcing parents to think twice before injecting their children during allergic reactions.

Tamsin Gillard-Moss, from West Malling, has worked tirelessly to help her six-year-old son Arlo avoid another severe reaction but has labelled the EpiPen shortage as a "nightmare".

Mylan, the company responsible, has told adults their pens are safe to use four months after the expiry date.

Arlo with mum Tamsin Gillard-Moss
Arlo with mum Tamsin Gillard-Moss

However, the EpiPen Junior has not been deemed safe enough to use outside of its expiration.

Mrs Gillard-Moss, of Norman Road, said: “There has been a global shortage for months.

“Some of the adult pens are past their expiry date by four months and they are okay to use, but that isn’t the case with the children’s ones.

“We are now in a situation where one EpiPen has expired as of the beginning of the month and we have been trying to get a new one.

“It is quite scary. It is lifesaving medication. If we need to use it then we won’t be able to get a replacement.”

Arlo, who was named an Allergy Hero earlier this year, suffered a severe allergic reaction last week while eating and his mum now believes parents are being forced to evaluate how necessary it is to administer the adrenaline shot.

The EpiPen Junior is in short supply
The EpiPen Junior is in short supply

He came close to death as a baby when he went into anaphylactic shock after being fed formula milk.

The 37-year-old said: “It is a really scary situation. I have written to our MP Tom Tugendhat.

"I just can’t believe it has been left like this.

“My fear is that the shortage is making people reluctant to use their EpiPens because they know they won’t have a replacement one.

“People will be asking whether or not it is a severe enough reaction or not to use it.

“This week Arlo had a significant reaction and luckily we didn’t have to use an EpiPen.

"It is lifesaving medication... if we need to use it then we won't be able to get a replacement" - Tamsin Gillard-Moss

“You can manage everything yourself but if it is an accident like a toddler leaving food on a table then it is out of your hands.”

An EpiPen is an adrenaline auto-injector prescribed to people with serious allergies to nuts, milk, eggs and fish.

It is recommended people carry two pens with them at all times in the event of anaphylaxis.

A surge in demand for the pens has forced a worldwide shortage and now alternatives are also in short supply.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) agreed to a request by Myland, the company behind the EpiPen, to extend the expiry date of the adult dosage, but not the children’s 0.15mg version.

Mylan announced it is out of stock of EpiPen Junior and interruptions in the supply are anticipated to continue for months.

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