FDA declares EpiPen shortage across much of country

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NEW YORK (CBS) The Food and Drug Administration has declared a shortage of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. across major swaths of the country.

The supermarket chain Wegmans first reported shortages of the medication injector in its pharmacies in late April. Since May 2, at least 400 people have reported being unable to receive a supply of the medication, according to Food Allergy Research and Education, a nonprofit organization. The EpiPen, which delivers a shot of epinephrine to someone having an allergic reaction, can be lifesaving for people with severe allergies.

The FDA said several factors were responsible for the injectors' "limited availability," including manufacturing issues and "pharmacy-level supply disruptions." States affected so far include California, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Ohio, Georgia and Maine.

Pfizer, whose subsidiary manufactures the EpiPen, said in a statement that "[t]he constrained supply of EpiPen is due to supply of certain third-party components, along with process changes implemented which have temporarily limited capacity at our manufacturing facility."

Mylan, the distributor, asks that patients who have trouble getting EpiPens get in touch with the company's customer service hotline for help finding pharmacies that have the devices in stock.

The Auvi-Q, an autoinjector manufactured by Kaleo, is not in shortage, according to the FDA.