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GSD asks about availability of EpiPens

Photo by Johnny Bugeja,

The GSD on Wednesday said it has been made aware of the “almost impossible task” of obtaining EpiPens from local pharmacies and the GHA Pharmacist. The pens provide instant emergency medical treatment for those with severe allergies.

Patients can self-administer the medication in cases of emergency.

“Allergies to foods, such as some nuts, fish, eggs and fruit as well as bee stings and other medicines have been known to cause anaphylactic shock,” the GSD said.

“It is understood that 1 in 100 people experience allergic reactions and a small number will go on to develop anaphylaxis.”

“EpiPens, as they are known, provide adults and children with severe allergies significant reassurance, that in circumstances where they are experiencing the initial signs of anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, they can avoid a serious and potentially life-threatening medical emergency.”

The GSD said it understands that the incidence of anaphylaxis is relatively low and can be dealt at hospital and other first responders as a medical emergency with the administration of an injection of adrenaline.

However, it added, the advice from the NHS is that those at risk should carry EpiPens on their person “at all times with no exceptions”.

The Shadow Minister for Health and the Environment, Elliott Phillips, said: “The GSD have been informed that local pharmacies are either not stocking or dispensing EpiPens and neither does the GHA Pharmacist have a ready stock to dispense to those at risk.”

“We are unaware as to whether the decision to restrict or deny this treatment arises in the context of the internal audit and review on medicines and dispensing in Gibraltar or for other reasons.”

“The GSD call on the Government to confirm the position given the unease that this is causing those with limited or no supply of EpiPens and the obvious risk that this present to those with severe allergies.”

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