New Allergy-Drug Device Challenges EpiPen

Smaller Auvi-Q comes with neat bells and whistles
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2013 2:33 PM CST
Auvi-Q(tm) (epinephrine injection, USP) is now available by prescription in U.S. pharmacies.   (PRNewsFoto/Sanofi)

(Newser) – Looks like EpiPen is facing a little competition. With severe food allergies on the rise in America, a pair of food-allergic twin brothers have invented a rival medicine-injector they say is cooler and better-designed, the New York Times reports. Eric and Evan Edwards' new Auvi-Q is rectangular, smaller, and includes automated voice instructions and a rectractable needle. But makers of EpiPen are bristling at claims that up to two-thirds of EpiPen users don't bother to carry around the magic-marker-shaped device because it's too big.

"EpiPen has been tried and true for 25 years," says the CEO of Mylan, which sells EpiPen. "It’s not easily confused with a BlackBerry or your phone in your purse or your backpack." But Eric and Evan argue that their product—comparably priced at $240—comes from years of experience as food-allergy sufferers. They even devoted their college years in Virginia to studying pharmaceutical sciences and engineering, all to make the Auvi-Q. "This wasn’t just an invention," says Evan. "This was something that I knew I was going to carry with me every single day." (Read more food allergies stories.)

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