July 19, 2019 / 3:41 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 2-Health Canada to keep importing Kaleo's epinephrine shot amid shortages

(Adds details on possible resolution of the issue)

July 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian health regulator said on Friday it would keep importing U.S.-based Kaleo Inc's epinephrine auto-injectors and expects adequate supply of the devices in the country over the coming months.

There has been a shortage of EpiPens in the United States, Europe and Canada, mainly hit by a series of manufacturing delays at Pfizer's Meridian Medical unit that produces all EpiPens sold globally at a single plant near St. Louis.

Health Canada's announcement comes after Pfizer Inc, which makes Mylan NV's EpiPen, notified the regulator that a shortage of the 0.3 mg dose of the emergency allergy shots may lead to temporary supply constraints in Canada.

The supply of EpiPen Jr, or the 0.15 mg dose, is not affected and Pfizer expects to fully resolve the issue in early October, Health Canada said. (reut.rs/30BJp9o)

The device, used to deliver a dose of epinephrine in the event of severe allergic reactions to triggers such as peanuts or bee-stings, has remained on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's list of drugs in shortage for more than a year.

Last week, Novartis AG said it would make its generic pre-filled epinephrine shots immediately available in U.S. pharmacies, while Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc expanded its partnership with Kaleo to offer an additional dose of the emergency allergy shot Auvi-Q. (Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Anil D'Silva)

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