NATIONAL SHORTAGE OF IV BENADRYL - Patients lives are at risk, please sign to help!

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Please sign and share this petition, time is running out!  The massive DRUG SHORTAGES in the USA are putting patients lives in danger! Patients with Mast Cell Activation Disorders (MCAD) rely on many medications such as: IV Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Epi-Pens, Cromolyn Sodium (oral and nebulized), among others and they are ALL often on back-order or unavailable. 

ALL brands of IV Diphenhydramine are either on shortage/back-order or not currently being manufactured at all; these include both the Diphenhydramine vials and the pre-filled Diphenhydramine syringes. The pre-filled Diphenhydramine SYRINGES (made by both Fresenius-Kabi and Pfizer/Hospira) are currently unavailable and also not being produced. The Diphenhydramine injection VIALS are currently being produced by Hikma (Westward) and Fresenius-Kabi/APP but still in very limited quantities, so most patients/facilities are still unable to access the medication due to the shortage/availability problems. They are not currently making enough to meet the current demand and each week the "availability date" gets bumped to the next week. Also Mylan, Pfizer and Hospira will not have IV Diphenhydramine available until 2019-2020!  Many hospitals are completely out and unable to get more, which threatens the lives of their patients. The shortage has been going on for months and only two manufacturers (out of five) are actually making IV diphenhydramine that “might” be available in 2018, and even then there are still no guarantees.

IV Diphenhydramine is a first line medication used in many different medical situations and for a variety of health problems.  It is regularly used to treat allergic reactions and to treat/prevent anaphylaxis in some patients, like those with Mast Cell Disorders. Many patients with severe MCAD rely on a Continuous Diphenhydramine Infusion (CDI) or daily/multiple/scheduled bolus doses of the drug, due to chronic and recurrent anaphylaxis. IV Diphenhydramine is often the only thing that keeps them relatively allergically stable. Patients can quickly become allergically unstable without IV diphenhydramine and can have life threatening allergic reactions/mast cell flares, require long hospital stays, intubation and tracheostomies. Patients are dying because of the IV Diphenhydramine shortage! The most recent shortage began in August and it is STILL GOING ON, and it’s putting patients lives in danger every single day. This is a NATIONAL CRISIS! Why isn’t something being done and NOW? Many hospitals, pharmacies and patients are completely out of this drug and have been unable to get more.

The FDA and the Pharmaceutical companies must do whatever it takes to ensure that production of IV DIPHENHYDRAMINE is increased immediately so patients/providers can have access to this medication. The FDA and manufacturers need to identify the problem and fix it and prevent future shortages, especially shortages of this magnitude. It’s unacceptable and peoples lives are in the balance. Many patients can’t wait until 2019-2020 for a medication they use daily to survive. This is a call for action for the FDA and for the pharmaceutical companies: Hikma, Fresenius-Kabi, Mylan, Hospira and Pfizer to take action and fix the problem now, peoples lives depend on it.   Thank you.  

From: The Mast Cell Disease Community