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September 10, 2018

Walgreens and kaléo to offer Auvi-Q shots amid EpiPen shortage

Walgreens, a drugstore chain in the US, has partnered with pharmaceutical company kaléo to offer improved access to an alternative epinephrine auto-injector called AUVI-Q in response to the continuing EpiPen shortage.

Walgreens, a drugstore chain in the US, has partnered with pharmaceutical company kaléo to offer increased access to an alternative epinephrine auto-injector called AUVI-Q in response to the continuing EpiPen shortage.

Mylan’s EpiPen is widely used to address severe allergic attacks. However, for the past several months, there has been a shortage of the branded epinephrine auto-injectors at wholesalers and pharmacies.

Last month, Mylan reported that the intermittent supply is due to interruptions to the manufacture of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr carried out by Pfizer’s Meridian Medical Technologies.

To address the persisting EpiPen shortage, Walgreens has agreed to stock kaléo’s AUVI-Q at 0.15mg and 0.3mg across its locations in the US.

AUVI-Q is a prescription medicine that recently obtained the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to treat emergency allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.

“Thanks to this collaboration with Walgreens, any patient who is having difficulty filling a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector now has the opportunity to get AUVI-Q through Walgreens.”

The medication is not a replacement for emergency medical care and patients will require immediate medical treatment even after its usage.

Under the AUVI-Q AffordAbility programme by kaléo, eligible patients will receive the epinephrine auto-injector for free.

Walgreens operations president Richard Ashworth said: “Walgreens pharmacists continue to care for and work with patients and their prescribers to ensure they have access to the epinephrine auto-injectors they need, and we’re pleased to work with kaléo to help meet the demand for epinephrine auto-injectors across the country.”

AUVI-Q comes with voice instructions for detailed guidance throughout the epinephrine delivery process. It is accompanied by an auto-retractable needle system to inject the epinephrine.

kaléo Allergy and Pediatrics general manager Phil Rackliffe said: “Thanks to this collaboration with Walgreens, any patient who is having difficulty filling a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector now has the opportunity to get AUVI-Q through Walgreens.”

Last month, the FDA approved the first generic version of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr auto-injector. The generic will be marketed by Teva and is expected to cost a fraction of the price of Mylan’s branded product.

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