Community pharmacists have been advised to stop supplying Emerade adrenaline pens immediately by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The warning comes after all unexpired products were recalled by the manufacturer when it emerged that some pens were not functioning properly, failing to activate and deliver adrenaline.
The MHRA has clarified that Emerade pens currently being used by patients are not being recalled and that most pens activate as normal and should continue being used until they expire.
However, the regulator added that patients should carry two pens with them, just in case the first one does not work. Doctors have been asked to prescribe alternative adrenaline pens (like EpiPen or Jext) for patients once the Emerade pen expires, until the error is corrected.
The MHRA notice read: ‘Stop supplying the above product immediately. Quarantine all remaining stock and return it to your supplier using your supplier’s approved process.
‘Healthcare professionals are urged to share the additional information below with all patients and carers who have been prescribed an Emerade pen.’
Avoiding ‘serious shortage’
The MHRA has stressed that patients should continue to use Emerade products until they are expired to ‘avoid a serious shortage of adrenaline pens for the wider patient community’.
The regulator added: ‘In the UK, there are insufficient supplies of alternative brands to replace all the Emerade pens held by patients.
‘The MHRA and Department of Health and Social Care consider that the risk of not having a pen is much higher than having a pen that may not activate.’
The fault in the pen may be a result of exposure to high temperatures, so patients are advised to store the pens below 25C.
Healthcare professionals with patients travelling to warmer climates have been asked to prescribe an alternative brand.
The affected batches can be viewed here.