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EpiPen's are imported from the United States. The internal vial with the active ingredient (adrenaline) is produced in one manufacturing plant and then transferred and assembled into the pen device in another location and facility within the United States. It is then shipped to Australia. Once received into Australia, the NZ stock requirement is re-consigned and shipped over to New Zealand. The time span between initial manufacturing/assembling and then receipt into NZ is an accumulation of transit times as well as the processes and protocols required to be followed at each point of the distribution chain.
The internal adrenaline vial within EpiPen is originally manufactured with a shelf life of 20 months. By the time stock is received into NZ however, the best dating most typically received will be between 12 & 15 months. We always hold the best available dated Epipen's in New Zealand as we acknowledge that the EpiPen's are expensive and we want to give our customers the best value for money that we can.
Yes! As of the 1st of February 2023 two EpiPens will be funded per prescription if you are at risk of or have experienced anaphylaxis. If your EpiPen is about to expire or you have used it, you can get another prescription for two more EpiPens. All you need to do is visit your doctor for a prescription, they will check you meet the criteria and apply for a Special Authority number for you (this is what grants you the funding). You can then fill your prescription at any pharmacy nationwide free of charge (there may be a part charge if your prescription is written by a specialist) just like you would for any other prescription.