Adrenaline auto-injectors

  • Procedure started
  • Under evaluation
  • CHMP opinion
  • European Commission final decision
Current status:
European Commission final decision

Overview

Better training tools to support patients using adrenaline auto-injectors

Training device and audio-visual material expected to promote appropriate use of auto-injectors

On 25 June 2015, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended several measures, including the introduction of more effective educational material, to ensure that patients and carers use adrenaline auto-injectors successfully. Adrenaline auto-injectors are potentially life-saving treatments for anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions) while the patient waits for emergency medical assistance.

EMA carried out a review of adrenaline auto-injectors following concerns that currently available devices may deliver adrenaline under the skin instead of into a muscle, and this may delay response to treatment.

Having assessed all the available data, EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) acknowledged that giving the medicine by injection into the muscle is the preferred way to obtain a rapid response in anaphylaxis. However, the CHMP noted that several factors may affect whether adrenaline is actually delivered into a muscle; these include needle length, the thickness of fat under the skin, the way the auto-injector works (e.g. if it is spring loaded or not), the angle at which the device is placed on the skin and the force used to activate the device as well as how well the user follows the instructions for injection.

The CHMP concluded that training of the user is of paramount importance. The companies that market adrenaline auto-injectors have therefore been asked to develop more effective educational material for patients, as well as for healthcare professionals, to ensure their optimal use. This includes a training device with which patients can practise; audio-visual material to show in detail how the device is to be used; and a checklist for prescribers to ensure that sufficient information is given to the patient before they use the auto-injector. The product information of adrenaline auto-injectors has also been updated with further warnings and precautions, including a recommendation that patients should be prescribed two auto-injectors which they should carry at all times and a recommendation for family members, carers or teachers to be trained on how to use the auto-injector.

The CHMP also concluded that further data should be generated to better understand how adrenaline penetrates body tissues when given with each of the different auto-injectors.

The CHMP recommendation was sent to the European Commission which endorsed it and issued a legally binding decision that is valid throughout the EU.

Key facts

About this medicine
Approved name
Adrenaline auto-injectors
International non-proprietary name (INN) or common name
adrenaline (epinephrine)
About this procedure
Reference number
EMEA/H/A-31/1398
Type
Article 31 referrals

This type of referral is triggered when the interest of the Union is involved, following concerns relating to the quality, safety or efficacy of a medicine or a class of medicines.

Status
European Commission final decision
Key dates and outcomes
CHMP opinion date
25/06/2015
EC decision date
14/08/2015

All documents

Description of documents published

Please note that some of the listed documents apply only to certain procedures.

  • Overview - lay-language summary of the stage of the procedure
  • Notification – a letter from a Member State, the European Commission or the marketing authorisation holder requesting the initiation of the procedure
  • Scientific background – further background information from the triggering Member State on the issues leading to the initiation of the procedure (if applicable)
  • List of questions – questions agreed by the Committee requesting further information from the marketing authorisation holder(s) / applicant(s) to evaluate the issues identified
  • Timetable for the procedure – agreed timeframe to respond to the list of questions, to assess the issues and to adopt a conclusion
  • List of medicines concerned by the procedure – medicine(s) / active substance(s) concerned, and marketing authorisation holder(s) / applicant(s)
  • List of questions to be addressed by the stakeholders – call for data to be submitted by stakeholders (e.g. healthcare professionals, patient organisations, individual patients) (if applicable)
  • Stakeholder submission form – form to be used by stakeholders to submit data (if applicable)
  • Scientific conclusions – scientific conclusions of the PRAC and/or CHMP and/or CMDh
  • Assessment report – PRAC or CHMP assessment and conclusions on the issues investigated, including divergent positions (if applicable)
  • Divergent positions – divergent positions of the CHMP or CMDh members for pharmacovigilance procedures (if applicable)
  • Changes to the summary of product characteristics, labelling and package leaflet (amended sections or fully revised version) (if applicable)
  • Condition(s) to the marketing authorisation(s) – condition(s) for the safe and effective use of the medicine(s) (if applicable)
  • Condition for lifting the suspension – condition to be fulfilled for the suspension of the marketing authorisation(s) to be lifted (if applicable)
  • Timetable for implementation of CMDh position – agreed timeframe to submit and finalise the variation(s) implementing the outcome of the procedure (if applicable)

Note that older documents may have different titles.

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