Epipen expiry dates

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Also posted under "Anyone having touble getting an epipen" in Living with peanut allergy.

I don't have trouble getting an epipen, but I do have trouble getting a decent expiry date! This afternoon I spent one and a half hours on the phone trying to find the best date in about 20 local pharmacies. The best I could get was February 2005. Now, some of you might think that's not bad, but I remember buying epipens with an 18 - 22 month expiry date four or five years ago and those extra few months really help.

Anyway, I was mad, and phoned Dey Laboratories. After being passed on to about ten different people, Sharon Heer told me that the FDA had told them to change the expiration date on regular Epipens to 20 months from 27 months. Epipen Junior has always been 20 months, she said.

From where they are made, she said, they go to Dey Laboratories, then to the warehouse, then to the distributors, then to local distributors before arriving at the actual pharmacies. So that process takes about five months!

The Dey telephone number I phoned was: 1-800-869-9005, extension 2810 for Sharon Heer.

I still have to phone Allerex, who distribute here in Canada. I'd like to know how much shelf life is left on the epipens when they receive them, and how can we get them into the pharmacies faster. I don't have a toll-free number for Allerex yet, but will try to find one ASAP. I'll repost once I have contacted them. If anyone out there has a toll-free number for Allerex, would you mind posting it?

On Nov 10, 2003

Have you had any luck getting a hold of Allerex? I am having an awful time trying to find a decent expiry date as well as getting a trainer. I live in Ontario, Canada. Have you found a good pharmacy for epi-pens?

Quote:

Originally posted by KateB: [b]Also posted under "Anyone having touble getting an epipen" in Living with peanut allergy.

I don't have trouble getting an epipen, but I do have trouble getting a decent expiry date! This afternoon I spent one and a half hours on the phone trying to find the best date in about 20 local pharmacies. The best I could get was February 2005. Now, some of you might think that's not bad, but I remember buying epipens with an 18 - 22 month expiry date four or five years ago and those extra few months really help.

Anyway, I was mad, and phoned Dey Laboratories. After being passed on to about ten different people, Sharon Heer told me that the FDA had told them to change the expiration date on regular Epipens to 20 months from 27 months. Epipen Junior has always been 20 months, she said.

From where they are made, she said, they go to Dey Laboratories, then to the warehouse, then to the distributors, then to local distributors before arriving at the actual pharmacies. So that process takes about five months!

The Dey telephone number I phoned was: 1-800-869-9005, extension 2810 for Sharon Heer.

I still have to phone Allerex, who distribute here in Canada. I'd like to know how much shelf life is left on the epipens when they receive them, and how can we get them into the pharmacies faster. I don't have a toll-free number for Allerex yet, but will try to find one ASAP. I'll repost once I have contacted them. If anyone out there has a toll-free number for Allerex, would you mind posting it?[/b]

On Nov 10, 2003

I purchased a epi-pen jr dual pack last month and it comes with a trainer now. The expiration date was Feb 2005. I shopped around to 5 different pharmacies for the best date I could find. My insurance doesn't cover it so I wanted to get the most for my money ($110 us!!)

On Nov 10, 2003

pjmom,

I haven't managed to contact Allerex yet, due to working hours, but hopefully will do on Wednesday if I get home fast enough from work. The time difference between east and west coast makes it more difficult. As soon as I get hold of them I'll post. If you're not in a rush for the epipens, hold off, but I was in a rush - they'd just expired at the end of October, first time in fourteen years I'd missed the expiry date. I think this was because I am putting more and more responsibility onto my son, who is now 17. He WAS the one who noticed it [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Nov 24, 2003

I finally got hold of Allerex. I called their regular number on Friday and discovered they were closed on Fridays! I left a message and the call was returned today (Monday). They don't have a toll free number.

I was NOT impressed with the person I spoke to. He was quite obnoxious, telling me that I was lucky to have found a 15 month expiry date, that was great, and never did tell me how much time was left on them when they receive them at Allerex, which was my question to him.

He said that they are manufactured with a 16-18 month expiry date at Meridian Medical Technologies, who then give them to Dey Labs to distribute. I asked him which was it, 16, 17 or 18 months, because it wouldn't be all three, and he didn't answer that one either. I had told him that Dey told me they were manufactured with a 20 month expiry date, and he said no, 16-18 months. Basically, he didn't care, had no telephone manners and knew that I had to buy them anyway. Unfortunately I never did get his name.

Could you all tell me, US, Canada and other countries, what is the best expiry date you find when you buy an Epipen? When I bought my last ones they had a 17 month expiry date, and that would be [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]yes, 17-18 months ago.

Meridian Medical Technologies was taken over this year by King Pharmaceuticals, so I will try to contact either of them to see what they say.

I really would appreciate other people's input on this, so that I know if I have somewhere to go with it or not. Thanks:mad

On Nov 24, 2003

The epi pen we purchased about 2 months ago has a Jan 2005 exp date. (US) So about 15 months. The exp dates the pharmacy had were less than a year. I requested [i]they order one in[/i]. They did. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

However, I will say that *the particular insurance plan* my family has has never denied additional prescriptions purchased under *a year* apart. I even ordered *four* pens at one time with a script from the physician. With healthcare companies tightening belts, I might have to make phone calls next time.

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Results may vary. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Nov 27, 2003

Thanks, MommaBear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] So far yours is the only reply, and I really would like to know what kind of dates other people get in other parts of Canada and the USA. Any takers? Should I repost under another message heading?

On Nov 27, 2003

I think our last set had about a year on them when I picked them up. From the looks of it, we are the only family who purchases these from our pharmacy. When I take their 2-set of the jrs, the re-order and I take those as my back up a few weeks later.

We've not have insurance balk at paying though, so the expiration hasn't been a major issue.

On Dec 1, 2003

Any more takers for giving me epipen expiry dates found recently [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Dec 2, 2003

I posted an answer prior to you asking the question, so maybe you didn't see. I purchased an Epi jr dual pack in Oct. with an Expiry. date of Feb 2005. I shopped around and that was the best date I could find. For me, it's an economical reason for looking for the longest date possible. My insurance does not cover it. It cost $110 US.

On Dec 2, 2003

hmmm...I was jipped....the ones I purchased (first time buying them and naive I guess) had an 11 and 12 month expiry date. Next time I'm going too bring it to their attention.

lesa

On Dec 6, 2003

Thanks for all the replies. It does seem to be fairly standard, though it still doesn't make me happy! I have one more to buy at the end of this month, and I'll post what kind of date I get on that one.

If anyone else has managed to find a better than 15 month expiry date I'd like to hear which part of the world you're in [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Dec 6, 2003

I just had to get a refill last night for one of my son's Epi-pens (the one I keep in my purse). Mine had a December 2003 expiry, so expired. Anyway, bought it last night, December 5, 2003 with an expiry of February 2005. I counted the months in front of the pharmacist and it's what, 14 months?

We don't have a family doctor where I am so you go to the walk-in clinic and the pharmacy is attached to the walk-in clinic (great business for the pharmacy owner), so I always get them there. I also get them there because I have to get a special form called an SAA (Special Authorization - Allergen) to get the Epi-pen paid for. I can only get one a month re-filled.

When I went in last night, the one pharmacist asked me if I had had to use it on Jesse or if it was because of expiry, out of concern, which I thought was nice.

He has one in his Epi-belt which expires in May 2004 and also the one at the school expires in May 2004 and I have to go and get another one, I guess in January month, for his Father to carry as well (he lost one for himself after self-injecting himself with the Epi-pen Jr. that the idiot doctor insisted was the right one for Jesse and would not stand to be told any different, while trying to demonstrate to a Mom at a birthday party how to use the Epi if she had to).

So, I should know next month again what the expiry dates are looking like. I thought 14 months was *okay* but only because I've had ones recently that were a lot less and I was pretty ticked off, especially considering you need at least four.

I wonder if chain pharmacies like Shoppers' Drug Mart or others have a better chance of getting them with further down the road expiry dates?

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Dec 7, 2003

In August, I purchased four Epi's with an expiration date of January 2005.

On Dec 8, 2003

B's Mom - that date wins the prize so far [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] That would be 16 or 17 months, depending on the exact date you bought it. Whereabouts do you live? In addition to trying to find the best date available, I would like to know if it depends upon where you live. I do think that the manufacturers and distributors should be fast-tracking epipens to the stores.

On Dec 10, 2003

KateB

I just got new epipens for my ds. The expiry date was Feb 2005 (so 14 months).

I checked out 5 different pharmacies and that was the best date I could find.

The last set of pens I bought in June 2002 were good for 18 months (til Dec 2003).

Thanks for sharing the news about the shortened expiry dates. What a drag...

******Make sure you shop around for your epipens. There can be quite a price difference between pharmacies. I purchased mine at a place that sold them just about at cost ($92.99 CAN). Walmart wanted to charge me $105.50 per pen!

I'm in Montreal, btw.

On Dec 11, 2003

Thanks, Arachide,

I paid $186.00 for two last month in my local Safeway pharmacy. I am in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia. I had phoned around to check on dates and prices, and Safeway was cheaper than a couple of pharmacies by a few dollars but the same as most others. I was more concerned about the date than the price, though both are important.

On Dec 11, 2003

Timmysmom,

I somehow missed thanking you for your replies - so sorry [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] I don't manage to check the board every day. Your replies are appreciated.

On Dec 11, 2003

I really should re-read carefully! Thank you to ALL who have replied - I seem to keep missing people, so hopefully a blanket "Thank you" will work [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 3, 2004

I went to get yet another epipen, at Safeway because that's where I had the prescription from getting the last two in November, and the expiry date was still February 2005. I told the pharmacist that I didn't want that one, and would they order another one in for me. I told her that I needed at least an April 2005 expiry date or better, since it is two months since I bought the other two February 2005 ones. The pharmacist looked a little taken aback, but is ordering another one in for me, but of course has no idea what the date on it will be. I'll post again when it comes in and let you know the date on it. Meanwhile I'll phone around and see what dates other pharmacies have at present.

On Jan 3, 2004

Kate B., I can well imagine the pharmacist looking shocked when you asked her to order later expiration dated ones. Can you imagine your nerve? (or moxy, e-mom?).

I have to go this month to get an Epi-pen for my DH to carry for Jesse (remember, the self injection thing [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] ) and I will be using the same pharmacy so I'll post and see what the date is.

Wouldn't it be fun one day if we all just sat down and called every pharmacy in our respective towns/cities and asked what expiration dates they had on their Epi-pens? Actually, it might be interesting.....

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Jan 13, 2004

Raising in response to the thread on the Main Discussion Board, "Epipen Crisis"

On Jan 15, 2004

Alternative to Mainstream,

I actually DO phone about fifteen pharmacies in my local area every time I am ready to buy a new epipen [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] The result is always that they are all similar dates, a month or two apart, with a variation on price, but not too big of a difference. I used to worry about the price, but now I worry about the expiry date as it is getting shorter, and shorter, and shorter ...

On Jan 19, 2004

I did post this elsewhere today, but I guess it also belongs here. I purchased an epi-pen today (Canada) with an expiry date of May 2005. I figure 16 months isn't bad. I did not call in advance, he had it in stock, but I really don't expect asking him to order me another one would get me a better date.

On Jan 19, 2004

Anna Marie, I can't remember, it's in this thread, but the last one I got had an expiration of 14 months I think away and when I got it I thought that was okay, but only because I've also experienced getting some with 6 months away expiry.

katiee also posted in the Epi-pen crisis thread about really close expiry dates.

It should be interesting to see what they're like next week when the shipments are supposed to arrive.

I do know there are Epi-pens in town here and I only called one other pharmacy other than my regular pharmacy, but I didn't ask the time pressed pharmacist for expiration dates.

I'll wait 'til my regular pharmacist gets them in.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Jan 23, 2004

The epipen shipment came in yesterday, Jan 22nd, and I picked up the epipen. It has an expiry date of May 2005, so 16 months left on it. This is better than the previous two I picked up in November, which had 14 months left. It looks like 16 months is the very best any of us can hope for these days [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

On Mar 9, 2004

Kate, I finally got one of the Epi-pens that I need to replace two expiring ones in May month. I got it yesterday and the expiry date is August 2005, so 16 months?

When I spoke with the pharmacist he indicated that the medication itself is only *good* for 18 months. So, if an Epi-pen is filled by Dey and then not shipped out for whatever reason for 6 months, your expiration date would only be 12 months away.

I'm not clear if that made any sense at all, but what he was basically saying was that you can't expect expiration dates beyond 18 months. I don't know if that's true or not.

I have to get another one next month (my drug plan will only cover one a month) for the other one expiring this May month as well so I'll let you know what that date is as well.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Apr 4, 2004

Kate B., I got another Epi-pen prescription filled yesterday, April 3rd. Under my drug plan, I can only get one Epi-pen per month, with an SAA form. At any rate, I had to get another one for the one expiring at school in May month.

The expiration date on this one is August 2005.

The price, which I did not shop around for (I stay with the same pharmacy, have a few reasons why), was $94.01 for the actual Epi-pen plus $6.54 dispensing fee (inexpensive dispensing fee compared to say Shopper's Drug Mart or other large pharmacy chains) for a total of $100.55.

Thank heaven, I do have prescription drug coverage.

The pharmacist and I had quite a discussion about how the one company really has a monopoly on this and how it really isn't quite right. Even Tylenol (the makers of Tylenol - McNeil? , not sure) only had the monopoly for a certain period of years (not clear how many). Or, for recent example, the Viagra competition that has come onto the market recently, probably after what, seven years?

His concern (and mine) wasn't that a company had a monopoly per se, but what happens if something goes wrong at the company and you can't get your hands on a much needed product?

So, that's what I got, August 2005, which is what, 16 months away.

I suspect it's from the same supply that I got the one from last month, since it was the same pharmacy and in all honesty, I can't see demand being high (although I may be mistaken).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Apr 5, 2004

I just bought my first epi-pen jr the other day and didnt really look into the expiration date until I got home. It expires in 13 months. I had to pay $60 for it the walgreens receipt said my insurance saved me $1.89! Next time I guess I will call around and see if I can get a later expiration date.

On Apr 28, 2004

Re-raising for Deegan.

On Jul 28, 2005

Just got a new Epi-pen prescription to-day (I can get one a month on my drug plan, so I have to get one this month, July, one next month and one the following month to meet our requisite four).

Expiration date - 13 months away.

Cost $100.55.

We use the same pharmacy for all of our medications, so I don't shop around as far as expiration dates (same as when I was in Belleville).

I'll be filling another one in August month. Will post how far away the expiration date is for that one.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 22, 2005

I picked up the 2nd of 3 new Epi-pens I need for the start of the school year - my insurance allows one per month. At any rate, I knew I was getting the old one probably this time, which I did. Expiry date: September 2006.

Cost: $94.01 Canadian Dollars + dispensing fee

DH placed the order to-day for the one I pick up at the beginning of September. We'll see if that's a new one since I know the pharmacy has to order them in.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 2, 2005

Well, I just picked up the Epi-pen I needed for September month (have to check the one at the school, I may need another one in October month yet - one Epi per month on my drug coverage). It's the new design one. I really like it! That new casing is super! Cost was the same as the old style one I got last month - $94.00 plus dispensing fee. Expiry date - January 2007, so 16 months? Also, it came in a box as well - I've always just gotten the Epi-pen in the holder before, never in a box too.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 2, 2005

I picked the last epi I need for ds on Wed. I get it home & see it expires in 3 weeks! I immediately call the pharmacy & the pharmacist says he'll have more today. I go in today and they do not have more nad have no idea when they can expect more. They're on back order. They won't give money back will only replace w/ a new epi. Preschool starts Tues! Ahhhh! I guess until this gets straightened out we'll carry them all back and forth. Julie

On Sep 2, 2005

Julie,

I believe your pharmacist is lying to you. He can order more and they usually can arrive within a week. Possibly sooner if you explain the urgency.

On Sep 9, 2005

Picked up the last of the four Epi-pens I need to complete "our set". January 07 expiry. New design, as expected. I did find out to-day that my drug coverage covers more than one a month since I just got one what? Last week. Said to the pharmacist as I was leaving, okay, touch wood, I'll be back for four in a year.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 9, 2005

OK, I decide to call & get another prescription from allergist for the epi and get it filled elsewhere even though insurance won't cover. There is not a pharmacy in my town that has one w/ an expir past 10/05. All are saying they're on backorder. DS went to preschool Thurs. No problems and I actually feel really good about the school, parents, teachers, etc. We carried the med bag back & forth and he wears an epi-belt. Do I just live in an extremely allergic community where everyone bought them all up for the start of school?! Julie

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On Sep 16, 2005

I called in advance and asked if they had epi-pens in stock. They only had one, and I wanted two, so the pharmacist ordered in for me.

When I went to pick them up, the girl working the counter checked the cupboard and said there's only one (old container). The pharmacist looked at my name and said "hers are over here". They are new container - exp. Jan. 07.

We were talking, and I said that I was going to steal the cases for my epi-pens. DS carries one pen in an e-belt, and the other sits in a drawer in the office, so he doesn't need the sturdy cases - but since mine are carried in my purse, I'd prefer the stronger cases. The other pharmacist was so nice - printed me off two extra labels, because the school would want up to date, correct labels on his meds (he just graduated to the adult strength epi-pen). Since her daughter has pa she knows about dealing with the schools.

On Sep 16, 2005

AnnaMarie, I am going to your pharmacy from now on! Jan 07! I am lucky if I get 10 months. The ones I just got were May 06. They didn't have the new cases either so I called Dey and they sent me 6 of them.

On Sep 16, 2005

I finally got ds epi on Tues. The exp date is also 1/07. So it took a while to get, but should last. Glad to stop carrying the extras to & from school. Julie

On Sep 16, 2005

So, as far as I can figure out, I have one expiring in August 2006, one in September 2006 and two in January 2007.

momma2boys, seems like Toronto got January 2007 expiry dates on the new design ones.

Has anyone ever checked out an on-line pharmacy? Then again, I don't imagine they would tell you the expiry date.

I deal with a very small Mom & Pop pharmacy that I really like (actually the whole family goes there and once I was almost given my SIL's meds by mistake [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] ). I'm not sure if the other PA children in Jesse's school get their Epi-pens from that pharmacy as I think *most* people tend to go to Shoppers Drug Mart or other chain drug stores.

Anna Marie, that was excellent that you got the new cases for your purse. Do you think dimwit here even thought about that when she dropped a new one off for the emergency medical bag at school (a new design one)? I have the old style one in my purse, but what I did this time was leave it in the pharmacy bag even hoping that I won't lose the cap. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Oh, and your guy graduated to the same as you? That's good in one sense so at least there is no confusion.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 16, 2005

momma2boys, this time I got lucky. They only had one in stock and I needed two - that's why they had to order them.

In the past, I usually ask what the expirey date is and if it isn't at LEAST a year, I say no thanks. Either order me a new one, or I'll go elsewhere.

However, they are getting to know me there. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I mentioned that one of the pharmacists has a pa child. Well, one time we were talking and she mentioned she felt bad that her daughter never got to eat the cake and ice-cream at her own birthday party. I was able to tell her about safe ice-cream (in the store where she works) and a bakery that was safe, but I told her to check before ordering. Maybe that's why she doesn't give me a hard time when I want a newer one ordered.

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