If you’re a busy parent of a child with life-threatening allergies, the last thing you want to hear is that your EpiPen or EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector has been involved in a recall.
But such was the boat my wife and I found ourselves in this past week!
Every parent’s worst nightmare…
In early April, EpiPen maker Mylan announced that 13 lots of the widely used emergency allergy treatment had a defective part that could compromise the pen’s ability to deliver a shot of epinephrine when you need it the most.
That’s an unlucky 13 for parents of kids who would go into anaphylaxis shock if exposed to allergens like peanuts. Left unchecked, anaphylaxis could lead to death.
The lots included in the recall were distributed by Mylan in the U.S. between December 17, 2015 and July 1, 2016.
It turn out my wife and I were unlucky enough to have two separate sets of EpiPens — one for home and one for school — both involved in the recall.
When I first got the news at our son’s allergist, I thought we were in for a long, grinding and expensive process to get replacement EpiPens.
Boy, was I wrong…
Here’s what you need to do
The first thing to do is determine if your EpiPen is involved in the recall. Get your pen out at home and check for the following info directly on the pen itself:
Don’t forget to call your child’s school nurse too to ask about the pen they have on hand. The nurse should, in theory, alert you if you’re involved in the recall. Ours did. But this is probably not the kind of thing you want to leave up to somebody else!
If you’ve got a pen that’s been recalled, call 877-650-3494.
You’ll give them the NDC number, the lot number and the expiration date. The agent on the phone will verify that you do indeed have a recalled pen, and then the company will email you a voucher for a free replacement pen.
The voucher comes in your inbox just a few short minutes after you hang up the phone. You can then take that voucher with you to a pharmacist, either as a printout or on your phone.
The pharmacist will note the info they need from your voucher and voilà … you’ll walk out with a brand-new EpiPen at no cost to you!
(If you’re ever had to buy an EpiPen out of pocket, you know the cost can be in the hundreds of dollars annually. Thankfully, our insurance offers a mail-order option that reduces our final cost down to $75. But free is the best price of all for a pen that will get us through another school year!)
Watch the process and get further details below: