Monday, May 08, 2017

EpiPens still potent 4 years after expiration date, study says

By Robert Jimison, CNN
Updated 5:00 PM ET, Mon May 8, 2017

EpiPen products can still deliver an effective dose long after they have expired, according to a study published Monday.

The active ingredient in auto-injectors like the EpiPen is epinephrine, more commonly known as adrenaline, a hormone that can help relax muscles. It can open airways and reduce swelling during a severe allergic reaction.

The price of the auto-injection devices has gone up 400% since 2007, drawing the ire of patients who rely on them to quickly counter life-threatening reactions. Outrage grew as more insurance providers dropped coverage of the EpiPen.

Amid the criticism, manufacturer Mylan developed a cheaper generic alternative priced at $300 for two pens.


The new study builds on previous research finding that epinephrine auto-injectors have a much longer shelf life than labels said. A 2015 study found that some retained more than 90% of their stated dose two years after expiring.


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