Airline and EpiPen® Marketer Want Travelers at Risk of Severe Allergic Reactions to Feel Better Prepared
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 2 /CNW/ - King Pharmaceuticals Canada™ and WestJet today announced that they are working together on a new initiative that will see the Calgary-based airline equip all of its aircraft with EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr (0.3 mg and 0.15 mg epinephrine) Auto-Injectors.
WestJet plans to add the newly redesigned EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors, marketed by King Pharmaceuticals Canada™, to the first aid kits in each of its aircraft. Epinephrine is the drug of choice for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions (also known as anaphylaxisa). EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors are the country's most-dispensedb epinephrine auto-injectors.
WestJet spokesperson Tyson Matheson, VP People Relations and Culture, said the process of equipping the entire WestJet fleet with EpiPen® Auto-Injectors is expected to be completed by early 2011. According to Matheson, the airline's aircraft currently carry syringes and vials of epinephrine. For WestJet guests at risk of severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, the redesigned EpiPen® Auto-Injector offers the enhanced safety feature of needle protection before and after use.
"The new EpiPen® is designed for simplicity in an anaphylactic crisis, and we are pleased to have it available on all WestJet flights," said Matheson. "We obviously take the welfare and health of all WestJet guests very seriously and believe that this initiative will offer peace of mind for our guests at risk of anaphylaxis."
Travelers at risk of severe allergic reactions are ultimately responsible for taking all the necessary precautions including carrying their own epinephrine auto-injector(s). However, as part of its unique and caring culture, WestJet has long taken measures to accommodate these guests while maintaining a balanced experience for all other guests.
King Pharmaceuticals Canada™ earlier this year released a new version of its EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors, which now feature an enhanced, more user-friendly design and automatic needle protection. They are designed to make it easier to administer epinephrine quickly in an anaphylactic emergency.
"King Pharmaceuticals is very proud to be working with WestJet on this initiative, and our objective is to help prepare WestJet should a guest have a severe allergic emergency, a situation that can be particularly stressful when access to medical care is not immediate," said Dennis O'Brien, President, King Pharmaceuticals Canada™.
According to O'Brien, "A potential anaphylactic emergency - during air travel or at any time - is a reality for those at risk of a serious allergic reaction, and with EpiPen® Auto-Injectors on board each WestJet aircraft, we hope guests at risk will appreciate this extra measure as an addition to precautions taken on their own. We commend WestJet for taking these measures to be prepared to help a guest should the need arise."
The new EpiPen® automatic needle protection feature prevents exposure to the needle-end before and after use. When EpiPen® Auto-Injector is removed from the injection site on the thigh, the needle cover automatically extends beyond the needle. The needle is not exposed before, during, or after injection. For details on the new EpiPen®, educational and product safety information, or to take the Severe Allergy Risk Test that may be used along with an evaluation by a medical professional to determine the risk of a potentially fatal allergic emergency, visit www.EpiPen.ca.
More information about WestJet's allergy policy can be found on www.westjet.com in the Travel Essentials section under Guests with Special Needs.1
Epinephrine - also known as adrenaline - is recognized by healthcare professionals as the treatment of choice for severe allergic reactions. It is the drug form of a hormone that the body produces naturally.2 EpiPen® is an Auto-Injector that administers a premeasured dose of epinephrine. For more than 25 years, EpiPen® Auto-Injectors have been used to treat anaphylaxis. During anaphylaxis, administering EpiPen® or EpiPen® Jr helps to counteract the body's reaction to an allergen.3
| EpiPen® Indication and Important Safety Information
EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors are indicated for the emergency treatment of anaphylactic reactions in patients who are determined to be at increased risk for anaphylaxis, including individuals with a history of anaphylactic reactions. Selection of the appropriate dosage strength is determined according to patient body weight.
EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors are designed as emergency supportive therapy only. They are not a replacement for subsequent medical or hospital care. After administration, patients should seek medical attention immediately or go to the emergency room. For the next 48 hours, patients must stay within close proximity to a healthcare facility or where they can call 911.
To ensure this product is right for a patient, always read and follow the label. Please consult the Consumer Information leaflet in the product package for complete dosage and administration instructions.
Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that some people have to foods (like peanuts and shellfish), insect stings and bites, medicine, or latex. For some people, it is triggered by exercise. It is a severe allergic reaction that can occur when a person's immune system strongly reacts to an allergen (an allergy-causing substance or event). Symptoms may include one or more of the following: swelling and itching in the mouth and throat, a rash anywhere on the body, difficulty in swallowing or speaking, difficulty breathing, or collapse or unconsciousness.3,4 According to Anaphylaxis Canada, it has been estimated that approximately 1% to 2% of Canada's population - about 600,000 people - are at risk of severe allergic reactions from a food or insect allergy.5 The organization further estimates that more than 50% of Canadians know someone with a life-threatening allergy.4
Severity of an occurrence is unpredictable in at-risk patients, and mild allergic symptoms can be followed by a life-threatening reaction. Epinephrine is the drug of choice for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions.
About King Pharmaceuticals Canada™
King Pharmaceuticals, with offices in Mississauga, Ontario, and headquartered in Bristol, Tennessee, is a vertically integrated branded pharmaceutical company. King, an S&P 500 Index company, seeks to capitalize on opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry through the development, including through in-licensing arrangements and acquisitions, of novel branded prescription pharmaceutical products and technologies that complement the Company's focus in specialty-driven markets, particularly neuroscience and hospital and acute care medicines. King's wholly owned subsidiary, Alpharma, Inc., is also a leader in the development, registration, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products for food-producing animals. For more information about King Pharmaceuticals Canada™, please visit www.KingPharm.ca.
WestJet is Canada's preferred airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 71-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame and named one of Canada's best employers, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom, leather seats and live seatback television provided by Bell TV on its modern fleet of 91 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 44 aircraft through 2016, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.
a Anaphylaxis is the term for a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that some people have to foods (like peanuts and shellfish), insect stings and bites, medicine, or latex. For some people, it is triggered by exercise. It is a severe allergic reaction that can occur when a person's immune system strongly reacts to an allergen (an allergy-causing substance or event). Symptoms may include one or more of the following: swelling and itching in the mouth and throat, a rash anywhere on the body, difficulty in swallowing or speaking, difficulty breathing, or collapse or unconsciousness.3,4
b IMS Health, CompuScript, August 2010 Data Month
1 WestJet. The WestJet Allergy Policy. http://www.westjet.com/guest/en/travel/special-arrangements/special-needs/allergies.shtml. Accessed November 29, 2010.
2 Allen M, Binkley K, Chad Z. Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings. Hamilton ON: Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; 2005.
3 EpiPen and EpiPen Jr [package insert]. Napa, CA: Dey Pharma, LP; 2009.
4 Anaphylaxis Canada. Anaphylaxis Is. http://anaphylaxis.ca/content/whatis/anaphylaxis_is.asp. Accessed September 3, 2010.
5 Anaphylaxis Canada. Welcome to Anaphylaxis Canada. http://anaphylaxis.ca/. Updated July 26, 2010. Accessed August 27, 2010.
EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr are registered trademarks of Mylan Inc. licensed exclusively to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Dey Pharma, L.P. of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA and under license to King Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Copyright © 2010 King Pharmaceuticals Canada™, Inc. All rights reserved. EPI7384 10/2010
For further information: For further information:
Media Contact for King Pharmaceuticals Canada™:
Alison Crocker (Porter Novelli)
Media Contact for WestJet: