Breaking News: An EpiPen Alternative is Coming Back on the Market

Blog Pediatrician Web

Now, the AUVI-Q, a device that was withdrawn from the market in 2015 because of safety concerns, will be coming back in the first half of 2017, and the manufacturers say they are working “to ensure that all patients regardless of insurance coverage, will have affordable access to AUVI-Q.”


Parents of children with life-threatening allergies will soon have an alternative to the pricy EpiPen—the popular auto-injector device that can safely and quickly deliver a dose of epinephrine if someone is experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Earlier this year, Mylan—the company that produces the EpiPen—came under fire for significantly raising the price of its product. While a pair of EpiPens used to cost roughly $100 (when not covered by insurance), last summer, the price of two pens rose to more than $600.

Now, the AUVI-Q, a device that was withdrawn from the market in 2015 because of safety concerns, will be coming back in the first half of 2017, and the manufacturers say they are working “to ensure that all patients regardless of insurance coverage, will have affordable access to AUVI-Q.”

Girish Vitalpur, MD, an allergist and immunologist at Indiana University Health, says he frequently prescribed AUVI-Q before it was taken off the market.

“Families appreciated the verbal guidance given by the device,” said Dr. Vitalpur. AUVI-Q, which was invented by twin brothers who each suffer from life-threatening allergies, features a voice prompt system that guides a user through the epinephrine delivery process with step-by-step instructions, including where to place the device (the thigh) and how long to hold in there (5 seconds). The vocal prompts make it easier for someone who’s unfamiliar with the device to use it in an emergency.

Dr. Vitalpur added that many parents also preferred the compact shape of the AUVI-Q, which is about the size of a credit card and the thickness of a cell phone.

The AUVI-Q was voluntarily recalled in 2015 because there were concerns that it might accidentally administer the wrong dose of epinephrine, however no deaths were reported. Kaléo, the manufacturer of the device, says it has since implemented a number of new safety measures to ensure that no errors occur, including a robotic production line with more than 100 automated quality checks.

-- By Patricia Scanlon

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