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The Faces Behind the Auvi-Q

The Faces Behind the Auvi-Q
In light of the other day's media announcement that the Auvi-Q will not only be returning to market, but will be doing so next month, I wanted to share more of the information I’ve learned about the company and the people behind it.

I’ll confess that I was ambivalent about the Auvi-Q the first time it was available. EpiPen had been a household name in my life since the 1980s, so it was comfortably familiar to me. In addition, my doctors had never prescribed the Auvi-Q, and as I began to pay attention to food allergy conversations online, I heard the occasional tale of doctors not trusting the Auvi-Q or of it having an even bigger expiration problem than the Pen.

It began to pique my interest in the months prior to its recall, though. We met some representatives from Sanofi at our FARE Walk and our kids fell in love with the talking trainers. Both boys soon declared that they wanted Auvi-Qs. But it wasn’t time to refill anything, and I wasn’t ready to switch just yet.

Then we learned that the twin brother Auvi-Q inventors were expected at the 2015 FABlogCon, and we learned about their history. We were fascinated by the fact that they tailored their entire education around making sure they had the skills they would need in order to turn their dream auto-injector into a reality–an auto-injector that would overcome the design flaws that everyone had accepted for decades. This was no small feat when a Ph.D. was needed! And the Auvi-Q does has many improved features: it fits easily in a pocket, it prevents accidental needle-sticks after injection (the old EpiPen, just like the current Adrenaclick, left the needle exposed afterwards), and it talks you through the process of using it. It was even named for the extra cues it gives you: Auvi-Q =  Audible and visual cues (Q). We were looking forward to learning more!

We didn’t get the chance though, because the Auvi-Q recall came a month before FABlogCon in 2015. The brothers’ talk was removed from the agenda, and while Sanofi (the pharma company who distributed the Auvi-Q at the time) was the Platinum sponsor of the event, they only put in a brief appearance–mainly to distribute information on the recall and what to do if you still had one.

Most people probably thought the story would end there, but we remembered the bio we’d read about how Eric and Evan Edwards had tailored their education around the creation of the Auvi-Q. They had their own small pharma company, kaléo, and they were successfully selling an opiod overdose autoinjector using the same technology as the Auvi-Q. With the dedication we perceived that they had toward their product, we felt confident that they wouldn’t give up on it, and that the Auvi-Q would return, even after it was dropped by Sanofi.

We were pretty excited to hear the news back in October when kaléo announced that the Auvi-Q would indeed return . . .

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