As the U.S. grapples with a national EpiPen shortage, retail pharmacy giant Walgreens will begin offering a competing allergy shot, Kaleo’s Auvi-Q, in stores across the country—a move that could prove critical for people with severe food allergies as the school year begins.
Mylan’s EpiPen, as well as rivals such as Impax Laboratories’ Adrenaclick, have been in short supply for months now. Part of that is because of ongoing manufacturing problems at a Pfizer subsidiary (Pfizer is technically the EpiPen manufacturer, though the product is sold by Mylan). In August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an EpiPen generic manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals in an effort to combat the shortage.
Kaleo’s Auvi-Q is a different kind of epinephrine auto-injector. The company said on Thursday that the product will be made available at Walgreens locations and at no out-of-pocket cost for customers with commercial insurance.
Indeed, the FDA notes that Auvi-Q is still widely available even while competing epinephrine injectors are in short supply. However, it’s important to remember that the device itself is different and may come with different dosages from the EpiPen and other products, making it important to consult with a health care professional if switching to the Auvi-Q.
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