On Mar. 31, Mylan, a worldwide pharmaceutical company, recalled 13 lots of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr due to a possible defect. The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] has also recalled close to 600,000 Ventolin asthma inhalers.
EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are epinephrine injections used to treat severe allergic reactions and are designed to provide treatment as quickly as possible-especially in the case of an emergency. In the lots recalled, some of the EpiPens were unable to be activated or proved difficult. The cases of failed activation took place outside of the U.S, but, regardless, all 13 lots are being recalled to avoid potential life-threatening risks.
Mylan has asked that anyone in the United States in possession of an EpiPen distributed between December 2015 and July 2016 visit their website to receive instructions on how to replace their EpiPen.
The Ventolin asthma inhalers were voluntarily recalled by GSK for a similar reason to Mylan’s EpiPens. According to the FDA, an “elevated number of units” were “out of specification” for leak rate. Unlike the EpiPen recall, the Ventolin asthma inhalers are only being recalled from retailers and wholesalers rather than individuals.
“It’s really scary to not be able to breathe,” Sammi Goto ‘17 said, who has asthma. “A lot of times you rely on your inhaler as your safety net-like you know this is going to work because it’s worked in the past-and without it it’s really scary.”