An Edmonton man with a severe allergy to nuts says that while attending a concert last week, he was forced to give up his EpiPen®.

The man, Ira Sherr, says he was at a techno concert at the Edmonton Events Centre. He was told by security that he could only enter the concert if he handed over his EpiPen. The EpiPen, a single-use device, contains epinephrine for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions, like the type Sherr risks if he accidentally consumes nuts.

Sherr recounted that “When I emptied my pockets to do the pat down, the security guard informed me that I couldn’t take my EpiPen with me.” He tried to explain that the device, about the size of a pen, was critical to his health. “The outcome of a reaction could be really serious — I mean, anaphylaxis, you could potentially die,” he explained.

Anti-EpiPen Policies

He eventually did hand over his medication, but says that he was confused by the security guard’s decision. He had never before been asked, even by airport security, to hand over his EpiPen.

While he was able to retrieve his EpiPen following the concert, Sherr said he is skeptical about the venue’s policy. “Part of me can understand the argument … if you start letting people in with prescription drugs in, then it’s very easy to masquerade narcotics as prescriptions,” he commented. “However, I think that in a few cases, for people like me who need life-saving drugs — as long as they don’t advertise the policy — I don’t think it would be very detrimental.”

The Edmonton Events Centre has not yet commented about the incident.

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