Madison Middle School - Cleveland Ohio

Lake County student stocks up emergency supply of lifesaving drug during nationwide shortage

During a nationwide shortage of EpiPen supplies, one student is making sure his classmates have access to the drug in the case of an emergency.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As families wait desperately for refills of a lifesaving drug, one Northeast Ohio student is making sure his classmates have access to EpiPen supplies in the case of emergencies.

“It’s frightening," Katie Nainiger said.

Her son, Adien, has a life-threatening peanut allergy.

For most families of children with life-threatening allergies, sending their kids back to school is a daunting task. The task is made even more daunting this year with a nationwide shortage of EpiPen supplies.

On average, two kids in each classroom have a food allergy. Forty percent of kids with food allergies have deadly reactions like anaphylaxis.

“At school, especially at lunch, a lot of people are eating different kinds of foods,” Aiden said.

At Madison Middle School in Lake County, 10 to 15% of students have serious allergies.

“Everyday I walk in and it’s something on my mind," said Madison Middle School Principal Thomas Brady.

That’s why students like Aiden need to carry epinephrine at all times.

“I carry two around my waist every time I leave the house and then in the nurse’s station, there’s two more," Aiden explained.

A nationwide shortage of the drug is preventing many students like Aiden from doing just that.

Mylan, EpiPen’s parent company, is listed by the FDA as having a nationwide shortage. The reason is “manufacturing delays.”

19 News called a handful of pharmacies in Northeast Ohio. Those that didn’t immediately have EpiPen supplies available were unable to say when they would get it in stock.

Aiden decided to take the problem into his own hands. He applied for a program that stocks EpiPen supplies in schools and raised enough money to also get a locked case for storage and easy access in the case of an emergency.