UPDATE – Epi-Pen and Auvi-Q Expiration Dates

(Note: see my latest post about the cost of Epinephrine here)

I wrote to both Mylan (EpiPen) and Sanofi (Auvi-Q) and shared my previous post “Epi-Pen and Auvi-Q Expiration Date Frustrations” along with the wonderful and informative comments I received from readers and received the following responses I wanted to share here.  Please, depending on which product you purchased with an expiration date that was unsatisfactory, read below (for Auvi-Q purchasers, you may be able to get a savings card that offers an up to $400 benefit and for EpiPen purchasers, be sure to call customer service).  Both companies understand that expiration dates are very valid concerns for purchasers of epinephrine auto-injectors.

AuviQandEpiPen
Child doses of Auvi-Q and EpiPen

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Epi-Pen

From makers of the EpiPen, Mylan Specialty:

To help facilitate consumers providing us with the necessary information, please share our customer service contact information. Consumers can call Mylan Customer Relations to speak with a representative at 1-800-395-3376 or email at Customer.Service@mylan.com.

We also wanted to provide additional information related to product expiration dates to support you and your readers.

When picking up epinephrine auto-injector prescriptions, we encourage patients or caregivers to check what is dispensed at the pharmacy prior to leaving. If there are concerns about the expiration date, they should speak to the pharmacist immediately.

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Auvi-Q

From makers of the Auvi-Q, Sanofi:

Patients or caregivers who, within the last 31 days, purchased an Auvi-Q that expires in less than 12 months are eligible to receive a savings card with a maximum benefit of $400 off one two-pack of Auvi-Q for each Auvi-Q purchase that meets the terms and conditions. Savings cards are valid for useJanuary 1 – June 30, 2015.  Patients or caregivers who purchased an Auvi-Q in the past 31 days with 6 months or less of dating may receive a replacement Auvi-Q or they can opt to receive a savings card.  For more information, including terms and conditions, patients or caregivers should call Sanofi Customer Service at 1-800-633-1610.

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Our collection of expired Epi-Pens and Auvi-Qs, the ones in the belt are current through early next year.
Our collection of expired Epi-Pens and Auvi-Qs, the ones in the belt are current through early next year.

In the meantime, it is my understanding that both companies are following issues about epinephrine expiration dates and are taking all consumer comments and concerns into consideration.  They want to hear about issues people may or may not be having as they get prescriptions filled.

No matter what hurdles you face in filling the prescription, by the way, you need to be carrying epinephrine.  See this great post by “Marketing Mama” Missy Berggren: Why do people need to carry EpiPens? Why not just call 911?

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Disclosure: I attended Mylan’s Summit in April but my opinions are my own – more detailed disclosure here and here.  Sanofi and Mylan have both been sponsors of the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference, of which I am a co-owner.  My opinions, as always, are my own and are not representative of my position at Food Allergy Bloggers Conference LLC or the real or perceived benefits from either company.  Representatives from both will be at the conference this September 2014.

68 thoughts on “UPDATE – Epi-Pen and Auvi-Q Expiration Dates

  1. Thank you for this! I recently picked up epi pens that expired in 4 mos. I took them back to the pharmacist and insisted they order me new ones with at least a year expiration or I was taking my business elsewhere. It’s disturbing that pharmacies are trying to unload their old meds on unsuspecting patients who expect these very expensive, life saving meds to last at least a year.

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    1. I tried to get the pharmacy to ORDER me one and they claimed it was their distributor. Then CVS ordered me one two days ago….. picked it up an hour ago and it expires in NOVEMBER (yes that is THIS November). Sanofi can send me a coupon but it can’t be used till January 2015. LOL So instead I’m getting a Goodwill replacement instead after I receive and fill out paperwork. For my daughters school I’m just going to try Epi-Pen. In previous years I never had a problem with them. They always expired exactly a year after the prescription was filled.

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      1. Hi Cindy, that is wild, you have to go with what you can to make sure the school especially has an unexpired injector. Hopefully in the new year when people do get their replacements they’ll see longer than a year for the expiration dates!

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  2. We order our epipens through express scripts mail order so we do not get to dispute the expiration dates. Once purchased through the mail they do not accept returns of any kind On many occasions I have received the epipens with only a 6 month self life. Please advise how this can be addressed.

    Thanks

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    1. Hi Hillary – that is frustrating, I know many of us can’t pick and choose about dates (myself included) – be sure to call the Mylan customer service line at 1-800-395-3376 and see what they’d advise as far as getting something better than 6 months. The medication is essential and live-saving but also the injectors are costly and it isn’t fair to get what is essentially half the product life.

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  3. I just called Auvi-q and they asked where I saw the information about the expiration dates. I gave them this blog. They were more than happy to help and will be mailing out my savings cards. They do need proof of the expiration date and purchase but they are allowing me to take photos and email them. Very helpful and understanding. Thanks for this post!!

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    1. I imagine they’re getting a lot of calls at Sanofi today – it is nice to see they want to make things right for many people dealing with this issue. Thank you, Stacey!

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  4. I picked up an Auvi-Q for my son this morning (7/31/14) and the expiration date is in 4 months (Dec). The pharmacist told me that she has no control over the expiration date when she orders the Auvi-Q. Thankfully, I found your blog and called Sanofi, the Auvi-Q maker. I just finished sending them an email with the requested documentation to get the savings card for my next purchase. I picked the savings card over the replacement as the customer service person told me they would not be able to guarantee the expiration date either. The whole process took some time but the representatives at Sanofi were very nice and helpful.

    What started out as a frustrating event has now become an empowering experience.

    Thank you!
    Linh

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    1. I am so relieved that the timing of this information was helpful to you – it makes blogging all the more worthwhile. Thank you so much for sharing, Linh!

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  5. Please let us know if anyone actually receives coupons, vouchers, or cards. It’s one thing for a customer service rep from a major pharmaceutical to make a promise–its another to actually receive what was promised.

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  6. Hi,
    I went back to see my pharmacist yesterday and asked her to share your blog and the information on the Auvi-Q and EpiPen to other customers who have the same problem. I was lucky enough to find your site, but others out there may not know what to do.

    Thanks again!
    Linh

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  7. I received my Auvi-Qs from Express-Scripts, last night, and they expire in April 2015. I called the Sanofi number, this morning, and the whole process start-to-finish took about 10 minutes, including the time it took me to email the requested information.

    They asked for a copy of the Invoice (showing date purchased), the expiration dates of the devices, the lot number, and the quantity, I sent them a photo of the bottom of the boxes and a photo of the invoice. They said it is very important to include the “Inquiry Number”, which they provide you during the phone call. You can submit the information by email or fax.

    I will be receiving three (3) $400 savings coupons, valid starting 1/1/2015-6/30/2015.

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  8. I also just picked up auvi Q’s dated January 2015 and was told by my pharmacist they couldn’t help me. Thanks for the blog info! I am on the phone with Sanofi right now. Hopefully, they will be able to fix the problem. So frustrating!

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    1. January 2015 is certainly much too soon of an expiration. I hope the process of getting a coupon goes smoothly for you. The next step I think is to try to reach out to major pharmacies and find out why they aren’t changing the older injectors since both companies will take them back and offer newer stock instead.

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  9. Thanks for the info on here.

    We were finally able to get our insurance to cover Auvi-Q but based on the comments here, I began calling pharmacies to check their expiration dates. The longest out that I could find was 8 months. Some pharmacies had Auvi-Q that expired in 2 months time!!

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  10. I too have spoken with Sanofi twice regarding short dated Auvi Q products. While nice, I have never heard back from them. We have a savings card, and while generous, it doesn’t help if you get a product with a ridiculously short expiration date. I’m not sure why they seem to be sabotaging their success. It’s a great product, but EpiPens have way longer dates.. If EpiPen can manufacture a more viable product so can AuviQ.. The district manager at Walgreen’s said that the best he can get from the warehouse is January 2015. Seriously? The money Auvi Q is spending on a TV commercial blitz would be better spent in stepping up their game.

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  11. I was just looking for this information, thanks! Got Auvi-Qs at pharmacy today and they expire in April and May, not only was I upset about the short expiration date but the preschool wants one that lasts through the end of the school year! Pharmacy says they have no contril, they just place order through an automated system but frankly they need to take responsibility too! If they have an issue with their supply chain they need to fix it. Called Sanofi but they were too busy and said they would call back… Maybe I can just send an email with all the info.

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  12. Hi again,

    I received my savings card today.There was an original mix up where Sanofi sent me a FedEx envelope with instructions to return the Auvi-Q (8/8). I then called Sanofi twice, but due to the high volumes of calls, I did not get connected with the right department. I followed up a couple of days later with an email and was please to get my savings card in the mail today (8/16).
    So, based on my experience, it took about two weeks and some following up on my part to get the card, but Sanofi kept their promise. I would recommend to anyone going through this process to keep notes of every conversation with Sanofi reps and to refer to the reference # they give you. Also, write down the names of the reps you spoke with and refer to them in the follow-up communication.
    Sanofi appears to be serious about taking care of the problem so I hope I will not need to go through this process again.

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  13. Sorry, I lost my previous post.

    I received the savings card from Sanofi today (8/16/14). There was an original mix-up where Sanofi sent me a FedEx envelope to mail back the Auvi-Q. I then called them back but due to the high volume of calls, I did not get through to the right department. I followed up with an email a couple of days later and was pleased to received the savings card today.
    So, based on my experience, it took about 2 weeks and careful following up on my part to get the savings card, but Sanofi kept their promise.
    I recommend to anyone going through this process to keep notes of the communications with Sanofi. Any follow-up conversation should include your reference # and the names of the reps you communicated with previously.

    Hope this help!

    Linh

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  14. Thank you so much for your information! I also received my Auvi Q from Express Scripts and spoke to 3 different people to ask for product with at least a 1 year expiration. No luck – frustrated. Per your post I called Sanofi at the number you list and quoted your post. Very easy transaction – you must send a copy of invoice and expiration info on box. I now am waiting for them to send me the coupon.

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  15. I just went to pick up my daughter’s Auvi-Q at CVS yesterday and saw the expiration was Dec 2014!! $70 copay for 4 months, so I said “no, thank you” and asked for a longer expiration date. Same thing everyone else has posted here, that they special order the medicine and no control over expiry date! Am I now worse off for refusing the medication? I don’t know when they will get a fresher order in…and I lost out on the $400 credit? Who knows what to do? I surely don’t!

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    1. Hi CC, I was in a similar pickle as far as whether or not to refuse the short date or not – I think the credit is up to $400 so you’d have gotten your $70 copay covered when you went in for a re-fill on the short dated set. A lot of pharmacies are saying they can’t get fresher injectors but the companies both say that pharmacies can trade them in for fresher stock so I’m not sure what is really going on. It is ridiculous that they’re trying to give you December 2014 ones, that is for certain!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Walgreens in park ridge has been giving me triuble for the past two months saying they cannot control what is sent to them. They wanted to give me ones for my kids that expired before the end of the school year. They also tried to charge me double my copay if they had to ship directly from supplier. I will show this blog to the pharmacy manager and inform him of your statement that the pharmacy can swap out and get newer ones from the company. Do very diss appointing that walgreens was not willing to figure this out themselves! Children’s lives are at stake and all we get are excuses and no one willing to investigate. Thank you for your blog! Very helpful.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I am emailing both companies to see if we can get a better statement that you could show to the pharmacy about what to do from their end. I’ll keep you posted!

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  17. I just picked up 4 boxes of the Auvi-q from CVS. It is almost the end of Sept and one box had expiration of Dec 2014 and the other 3 May 2015. I went back and said I need ones that do not expire in less than a year. They were going to try and find out about getting different ones. Will let you know what happens.

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  18. Thank you for this information. I have been having similar problems with the Auvi-q from CVS. I have talked to CVS before, but they were not able to do anything, saying they have to accept what is shipped to them. But I contacted Sanofi, and they were quite helpful.

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    1. Allene – what are the expiration dates they tried to give you? A lot of people were still getting December 2014 ones even in this late part of the year. Thank you for sharing!

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  19. Hi, I just wanted to reply as a parent of 2 allergic kids and a Pharmacist. When I worked at a chain pharmacy and filled my kids’ auvi-q and epi-pens even I would sometimes get short dated products. Sometimes it took 2 or 3 tries to get longer dated products from the wholesaler. Sometimes even when I talked to the wholesaler directly they informed me that all they had was products with short exp. dates. So while some pharmacies can be less than helpful I recommend calling around to different chains since they use different distributors & asking the pharmacist if they can work something out with you also. Additionally I think part of the issues is supply and demand, if they make too much and it’s not sold it sits in warehouses until they are ordered.
    Just a different point of view :)

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    1. This is great information, thank you so much for sharing! People find this series of posts because they are navigating the expiration date issue and the comments from readers are a huge part of making a resource page of sorts. The pharmacy perspective is especially helpful, thank you again!

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  20. I live in Beijing China and can’t get epipens here. I have to get them from the states each year I visit. I always make them give me the latest expiration date they have. They always search towards the back and give me the longest expiration date they have. I’m sure if I didn’t ask and let them and let them know I live out of the country then they wouldn’t bother. Thanks for this information!!! I will use it the next time I have issues. Also the doctor told me to keep my expired ones because they at least have a little potency still in them as long as the color is still clear. It’s nice to have a little back up incase the non expired ones don’t work or go bad. I also didn’t know you can use epipens back to back. Once you’ve injected the first one wait fifteen minutes and if you aren’t near help and the reaction hasn’t subsided you can give another injection. I didn’t know this.
    Good Luck everyone!
    Charis

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience abroad, Charis! And you are right, epi-pens merely buy time, so you need for certain to have a two pack with you. The second dose may be administered as soon as 10 minutes after the first and of course still a person needs to get to assistance in the meantime because of the possibility of biphasic reactions (aftershocks of a sort). (Link) Thank you so much for reading and commenting, wishing you safe travels on your next journey to the US!

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  21. Called everyone. Pharmacy Auvi Q Epipen. No one cares. They just point fingers to other people and wish you the best of luck.
    Dont waste your time. Food Allergies Suck and we should get more respect but at the end of the day no one cares!!

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    1. Hi Sam, I understand your frustration – we are all really at the mercy of the pharmaceutical companies when it comes to food allergies especially. I think it would be a good idea to follow up your requests in writing and see what response you get. I’m concerned that you weren’t able to get the help you and your family needed.

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  22. So update, I got epi pens yesterday with a 8 month shelf life and pharmacy said it was their last boxes with none in stock or non available from their supplier. I called Sanofi to complain about availablity, they gave me the savings card as mentioned above because I had bought them withint the last 30 days. I just have to send photos of box and pharmacy tag.

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  23. We just had to switch from Epi-pen to Auvi-q due to our insurance moving the Epi-pen to a Tier 3 status and it would now cost over $300, after insurance. I was disappointed when I received our new Auvi-q and saw it would expired Sept 2015, only 9 months away. After reading some posts here, I guess I should feel lucky to get one that will last that long. Our Epi-pens always lasted about 16-18 months. Going to try the pharmacy again tomorrow for a better date, if not I’ll look into contacting Sanofi

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    1. Hi Adrienne – See if you can reach out to Sanofi within 30 days of your purchase just in case you qualify for a voucher. 9 months is still not ideal! Thanks for commenting!

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  24. Just got one today and the damn thing expires in 5/6 months! Thank you so much for your postings! I am going to call the manufacturer tomorrow!

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  25. I called Sanfoi about our short date (purchased November 2014, expires April 2015). Very nice customer service rep. Took all my info. etc. BUT NOT COUPON!!! NO EMAIL as she promised. I threw my hands up as that took about 2 hrs on the phone in the first place. Now, we have another set that expired, and went to refill and yep, another April 2015 expiration! So, I’ll have to get on the horn again and demand my coupon.

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    1. Hi Sarah, some folks reported that Sanofi was contracting the process out and it wasn’t going well so they brought it back in-house. I don’t have actual confirmation but it may well be worth another try. Still, to take 2 hours on the phone to begin with is very frustrating. Our expiration date is already approaching here too. Thank you for reaching out, do come back and share any updates!

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  26. There is an offer on the Auvi website for “0” copay for everyone, not just people who get a unit which expires in under 6 months. So truly we as consumers should stand up and not accept early expiration dates!! Why should our insurance continue to pay for pharmaceutical company issues. When we accept early expiration dates, the pharmaceutical company benefits.

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    1. Hi Vickie – Thanks for commenting! Just to clarify, the zero copay offer does not apply to everyone, it turns into a discount if your insurance company does not also cover the cost of the device. Also, the expiration issue had to do with getting a voucher for the full value of the autoinjector so that someone that paid cash like myself could, if reporting within 30 days of purchase on, say, September 2014, an expiration date before, say, December 2014, could get a replacement Auvi-Q up to $400. The zero copay offer is separate and apart with its own limitations and requirements. Hope that helps!

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  27. I called Sanfoi twice about early expiration dates. The first person said I had to shop around to find a good expiration date. The second time I called, I was transferred to a voicemail and no one returned my call. I have called 28 different pharmacies in hopes of finding Auvi-Q that is good for at least a year, to replace an expiring Auvi-Q. Only six pharmacies had it in stock…four were good for 8 months, one for 6 months and one for 3 months. Every pharmacy I spoke to said there was nothing they could do. It’s whatever is sent to them. I find this so odd, as my doctor said I should never accept anything that expires under a year and she seemed surprised I was having difficulty finding it. I suppose if we all began refusing Auvi-Q that expired under a year and went back to Epi-Pens until they got their act together, maybe they would change! We never seemed to have trouble with Epi-pen expiration dates, as we are with Auvi-Q. They should as least make it fair and drop the price of the Auvi-Q each month as it gets closer to the expiration date.

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    1. Hi Sandi, thanks for sharing! I agree that it is baffling – the one year expiration thing is so crucial for an emergency based Rx that I can’t imagine that Sanofi would knowingly let this be the case. Their response seems to point to distribution since they are letting customers get vouchers when they do have short expiration dates. I have a lead on one pharmacy in town (Las Vegas) that has Auvi-Qs that are 14 months out so I am going to try to track a set down but perhaps it is a sign that things are changing in the next few weeks/months?

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  28. We’ve just experienced this same issue…Thank God that the Walmart pharmacy actually replaced the AuviQ (after much pleading). Just like others, they too blamed their vendor – McKesson. When I called Sanofi, they blamed the wholesalers but offered the $400 credit. While our issue was resolved this time, I’m more concerned about the fact that this issue has been going on for some time now and Sanofi is aware and has been aware and is only offering a $400 credit as the answer. More and more insurance plans are High Deductible plans which would still leave a member with a great deal of out of pocket expense (which many cannot afford). For us, when the pharmacy ran the AuviQ thru insurance, it was $934! Not many people can afford to pay this every few months (depending on the expiration date). I’m so afraid that there are people out there who possibly feel they have no other option than to go without. I’m having a hard time believing that this has been happening all of this time and the best option is to simply accept these practices and be thankful to get a $400 credit. And by the way….the AuviQ that we purchased previously, each had a different expiration date (same box). Praying that this will be fixed soon so that no one else has to experience this.

    Like

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