MEDA Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, has just announced the license approval of its newly designed EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr (Adrenaline) Auto-Injector (0.3 and 0.15 mg adrenaline) device. Whilst the familiar administration technique and actual adrenaline remains unchanged, the new look device has been developed following consultation with patients and healthcare professionals and is designed to improve correct administration and patient safety.

Sue Clarke, Nurse Advisor to the Anaphylaxis Campaign and Clinical Lead for Allergy and Paediatric Respiratory at Education for Health in Warwick said: "I think the important message to get across to patients is that there is no difference in how the newly designed EpiPen® is administered.

"It's still swing and jab into the antero-lateral aspect of the thigh. However I welcome the new safety features particularly the built in needle cap which will reduce the risk of needle stick injury and the new hard carrying case will ensure these devices don't get damaged in transit."

The improved EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector device now has the following new features:
•Bright blue safety cap ?making it easy to distinguish from the orange needle end. In patient education ?blue to sky? will make it easier in an emergency to remember which way up the device should go. The blue safety cap needs to be removed before use.
•Bright orange built-in needle protection ? the needle is now covered at all times, during and after use, reducing the risk of needle stick injury and potentially more acceptable for those patients with needle phobia. Once the needle cover is deployed following injection of adrenaline it cannot be retracted.
•Oval Shaped ? a new ergonomic shape makes the EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector device easier to grip and more comfortable to hold, in addition the oval shape will reduce the risk of rolling off uneven surfaces.
•Easy to read, illustrated instructions ? all the information on how to correctly administer EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector is now clearly displayed on the pen with illustrations, making it easy for anyone to understand how the device should be administered.
•Viewing window ? designed to check that the solution is clear and colourless and to confirm the injection took place.

The improved EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector device is also supplied with a new protective hard flip-top carry case which makes it easier and safer to carry around.
Dr Diab Haddad Consultant Paediatrician with Special Interest in Paediatric Respiratory and Allergic Disorders - St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey, UK welcomes the improved EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector said: "Anaphylaxis is a rapidly evolving, severe and potentially life threatening condition which frequently develops in response to allergic triggers. Early recognition of anaphylaxis and prompt use of adrenaline are crucial for successful treatment. For everyone concerned anaphylaxis can be a worrying potential risk, but for those who suffer from an anaphylactic reaction, or who have the task of administering the potentially life saving injection of adrenaline, the experience can really be daunting and confusing. It is therefore essential for adrenaline auto-injectors to meet high standards for safety, ease of use and reliability. Potential users of adrenaline auto-injectors should also feel comfortable with the administration technique of their chosen device. It is with these considerations in mind, I welcome the introduction of the new look EpiPen® device."

The improved EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector will be available in September and should be prescribed in exactly the same way as the current device. Stocks of the old device will be gradually phased out but there is no need to patients to replace or exchange their existing EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector before their next scheduled repeat prescription.

The improved EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr (adrenaline) Auto-Injector offers distinct advantages over its predecessor however Meda continue to offer the redesigned EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector at the same price, £26.45 per unit making the improved EpiPen® (adrenaline) Auto-Injector the least expensive adrenaline auto injector available in the UK.