AMERICANS love success stories.
Go to the Web sites of the United States Agency for International Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or a plethora of global health and development organizations, and you’ll find articles, charts and videos documenting their triumphs and innovations, with the promise of more on the way.
But as they entered their teenage years in suburban Virginia, they found the advice increasingly hard to follow. The device they carried to inject the medicine, known as an EpiPen, was shaped like a large felt-tip marker, and they would frequently forget it. As the twins entered college, they found themselves thinking there had to be a better way.
This week, the brothers’ invention — a slimmer device shaped like a smartphone — hit pharmacy shelves nationwide, the culmination of a single-minded quest that began 15 years ago and ended in a $230 million licensing deal with the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi.
The product, called the Auvi-Q, boldly challenges the superiority of the EpiPen at a time when food allergies among children and teenagers are on the rise. Sanofi and the Edwards brothers clearly hope it will appeal to a gadget-hungry generation with its compact, rectangular design and automated voice instructions that guide a user through the injection process. Both the Auvi-Q and EpiPen contain the drug epinephrine, which can halt a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis.
Evan Edwards said the device was special because it was designed by people who were intimately familiar with patients’ needs. “This wasn’t just an invention,” he said. “This was something that I knew I was going to carry with me every single day.”
via The New York Times - KATIE THOMAS
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