(Nicole Ireland/ CBC News) — The American epinephrine autoinjectors ordered by Health Canada as an emergency measure amid an ongoing EpiPen shortage have been priced at $170 Cdn each by manufacturer Kaléo Pharmaceuticals, CBC News has learned.
That $170 price for the Auvi-Q epinephrine autoinjector is more than the price of an EpiPen, which costs about $100 before pharmacy dispensing fees, but it’s far less than product’s retail price in the U.S. of about $460 Cdn.
Since 2015, Pfizer Inc. — EpiPen’s manufacturer — has been the sole supplier of epinephrine autoinjectors in Canada. They are life-saving devices for people who have an anaphylactic reaction to something they’re allergic to, including food, and patients are usually supposed to have more than one of them. Schools, for example, often require that children at risk of anaphylaxis keep an injector in the classroom.
But Pfizer has repeatedly announced shortages, and over the last several weeks, Canadian pharmacies have had to ration EpiPens, dispensing only one per patient. That led to a great deal of concern as the school year approaches. (…)