The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is currently reviewing two applications for registration of alternate adrenaline injectors in the Australian market. It is important that people at risk of anaphylaxis and their treating doctor can discuss options of adrenaline injector devices and choose a device that best suits their needs.
While researching both of these new options neither indicated any pricing. The cost of replacement Epipens has always been an issue so it will be interesting what the cost will be for these new options if they get approved.
The new options being reviewed are the SYMJEPI and a new version of the ANAPEN.
The Symjepi looks like a relatively small device which is ideal given the need to carry it with you all the time. However it does appear to require manual covering of the exposed needle. The current Epipen does this automatically. In my opinion, this action of making the exposed needle safe is extremely important in an emergency situation. It will be interesting what the TGA decide and when this device might be available.
The new Anapen hopefully is an improvement on the original version. Looking the manufacturers website the Anapen still requires manual retraction, or covering of the exposed needle. As with the Symjepi device, I personally see this as an issue during emergencies. Inexperienced first aiders will naturally be a little anxious when giving any medication to a person suffering severe anaphylaxis and as such, having an exposed needle can lead to ‘needle stick’ injuries.
Although having a monopoly in any industry isnt always a good thing for the end user, I feel that the Epipen is still the best option for ‘pre-hospital care’ of severe anaphylaxis. It will be interesting to see what the TGA does and if both or either of these new devices are approved.
Remember it is VITAL that you know how to use your own Epipen (or equivalent) or the devices that those around you might require to treat their anaphylaxis.
Please be aware this article is not a replacement for official first aid or medical advice, but simply information and best practice on this kind of injury. You should always call a medical professional for advice if you are unsure or in a serious situation.