Health Canada: EpiPen Packaging May Be Defective

The packaging for some EpiPen and EpiPen Jr products may be defective, warns Health Canada. According to the agency, the defect makes it difficult or impossible to remove the auto-injectors.

Pfizer Canada has alerted the agency of the issue and has noted that the defect only affects a “very small number of cases.” The pharmaceutical company did not specify how many EpiPen products were affected.

According to the alert, the affected products include:

  • EpiPen Jr (0.15 mg) (DIN 00578657) product with an expiry date between April 2018 and October 2019.
  • EpiPen (0.3 mg) (DIN 00509558) products with an expiry date between April 2018 and October 2019.

Health Canada has warned that in cases of faulty packaging, the auto-injectors may not easily slide out of the tube or may not slide out at all. The defect could delay or even prevent life-saving treatment.

According to Health Canada, the problem is that the device’s label has been improperly applied and may be stuck to the inside of the carrier tube. Only a very small number of devices are believed to be affected.

None of the affected products have been recalled by Pfizer Canada. The company urges Canadians to ask a pharmacist to test their EpiPens or check their devices beforehand.

Users can try sliding their device from the carrier tube to test whether their device is affected. To check the device, Health Canada says to: “Flip open the carrier tube cap, gently turn the tube upside down and let the device slide out into your hand (do not shake or drop it). Visually inspect your device to make sure the device label has no unglued edges that may catch on the tube.”

If the device does not slide out easily or the label has unglued edges, Health Canada recommends returning the device to the pharmacist for a replacement.

“Products are not being recalled by Pfizer (in agreement with Health Canada), because pharmacists and consumers can check devices themselves before an emergency situation arises to make sure they slide easily out of their carrier tube,” Pfizer said in a press release.