Running late as usual, we hopped off the elevator, turned the corner and trotted down the hall. I opened the door and ushered my son in ahead of me, only to find a tall gentleman dressed in a business suit and carrying a briefcase talking to the receptionist at the sign-in window.
He was obviously a drug rep peddling some new drug or something. I signed impatiently and rolled my eyes. I continued to wait while he tried to charm the receptionist into an appointment with one of the allergists on staff. Finally he stood aside, smiled graciously at me and apologized for keeping me waiting.
I smiled curtly and stepped up to the desk and gave our names.
While I waited for the receptionist to find our names in the computer, a nurse appeared and asked the suit what he wanted. He proceeded to introduce the Auvi-Q – a new epinephrine auto-injector that is being released early next year.
Since my son has food allergies that require an EpiPen, I immediately perked up.
The Auvi-Q is nothing like the EpiPens sitting around my house, the ones that resembles a weapon and are unwieldy and awkward to carry — so much so that my son refuses to carry one because what kid wants to carry THAT!?
The Auvi-Q, on the other hand, is the size of a credit card and about as thick as my iPhone. It is designed to fit neatly into a pocket or purse, and it actually talks you through the process if (God forbid) you should actually need to use it.
I couldn’t help but glance over as the suit began to demonstrate this new miracle tool on his iPad. He explained how the biggest problem with the EpiPen is that people don’t want to carry it, and naturally it only works if you have it with you. This Auvi-Q is much easier to carry because it is shaped like a phone or wallet and fits much more conveniently into a purse or pocket so people who need them are more likely to be compliant.
At this, my cold demeanor began to thaw and I could no longer contain my curiosity. I piped up, sharing that my son is 13-years-old and allergic to tree nuts, and I am ashamed to admit that he never carries his EpiPen because it’s just so inconvenient. (Yeah, so is anaphylaxis, I realize this. Fortunately he has never needed it, so we tend to be more lax than we should.)
The suit needed no more encouragement than that. He pulled an Auvi-Q out of his pocket and handed it to my son.
“Here,” he said. “Slip this in your pocket.”
Which he did.
“Cool, huh?” prompted the suit.
My son had to agree.
We chatted a bit more. Evidently the Auvi-Q has already been approved by the FDA and will be released sometime early in 2013.
I wonder how it will to be accepted by the medical community, but I hope the Auvi-Q will be a viable alternative to the EpiPens we now have to use. This hope was later confirmed by my doctor, who happened to mention a better device was in the works when we were in her office and the compliance issue came up. When I told her that I had just seen one in the lobby, her eyes lit up. Evidently she hasn’t seen one yet but is very excited about its debut.
The other awesome thing about the Auvi-Q is that it is much harder to shoot oneself in the thumb with it (which, evidently, happens with the EpiPen more often than you want to think, present company not excluded, ahem.)
I couldn’t wait to get home and share it! Is this not the COOLEST thing ever!?
If you’re a mom of a kid with food allergies, you surely get my excitement. If not, be thankful!