PHARMACY

Sandoz offers free Symjepi to Americares for low-income and uninsured patients

BY Sandra Levy

Americares is delivering epinephrine to free and charitable clinics across the United States to protect children and adults from serious allergic reactions as they spend more time outdoors this summer, thanks to Sandoz, a division of Novartis.

The company recently donated more than 4,000 packs (more than 8,000 individual injections) of its Symjepi (epinephrine) 0.3 mg injectable medication to Americares for distribution to partner clinics in the United States. The health-focused relief and development organization is delivering the medicine free of charge to clinics and community health centers upon request.

“Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, can be life-threatening. It is critical that patients with known allergies have immediate access to this life-saving medication,” Americares chief medical officer and technical unit vice president Julie Varughese said, adding, “This donation will help protect low-income children and adults at increased risk of a medical emergency, particularly as we head toward the peak summer season and see an increase in insect bites.”

Epinephrine is an emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, that can be triggered by food allergies, insect stings or some medications. Anaphylaxis can cause swelling of the lips or tongue, trouble breathing and loss of consciousness, among other symptoms.

The single-dose, pre-filled syringe and device combination donated by Sandoz can be an alternative to epinephrine auto-injectors. It is FDA approved for use by adults and in children weighing approximately 66 pounds or more.

“We are hoping that this donation can help address a critical need in the U.S. due to the ongoing shortage of epinephrine injections,” said Sandoz president Carol Lynch. “This is a life-saving medicine, which is why Sandoz is making Symjepi immediately available to U.S. patients through Americares to help bridge the shortage gap during these summer months.”

Since 1986, Novartis and Sandoz together have donated nearly $300 million worth of medicine to support health programs in 113 countries. In 2016, Sandoz made a commitment to donate up to $10 million worth of high-quality generic medicines annually to Americares for distribution worldwide.

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