Auvi-Q versus EpiPen

The next issue of The Medical Letter begins with an “In Brief” on Auvi-Q, a New Epinephrine Auto-Injector. Now of all the things you want to function without any hitches, foul-ups or product failures, something you use to self-administer a time-sensitive, life-saving injection would have to be near the top of the list. Epi-Pen has been around for a long time, so we have years of experience to attest to its reliability. And, let’s face it, The Medical Letter is pretty conservative; we usually vote for the tried and true, or at least the devil we know, over the new kid on the block. So this one is a no-brainer, right?

Well, I suppose so, but in this case the new kid on the block is pretty cool. The Auvi-Q comes with voice prompts that would make it difficult, it seems to me, to mess up the self-injection process. The manufacturer’s web site (google Auvi-Q) has a cute video of a teenager, a young adult, and a younger child with her mother using the device, and they do make it look surpassingly easy, especially if you turn on the audio function of your computer and listen to the voice prompts the patient will hear.

And it is so small. The Medical Letter describes it as the size (height and width) of a credit card with the thickness of a smartphone. I have a 9-year-old granddaughter who is allergic to nuts and should carry her EpiPen wherever she goes. But when she goes to school in her T-shirt and jeans, where does she keep it? In her backpack? I hope so. And does her backpack go wherever she goes? I doubt it. The Auvi-Q video starts with a teenage boy wearing a T-shirt and jeans who puts down his electric guitar and reaches into the back pocket of his jeans for his Auvi-Q. That makes quite an impression on a fearful grandfather. I would guess that 99.9% of the people who have an epinephrine auto-injector never need to use it. But if they never take it with them…

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Comments

  1. Richard Mabry says:

    Good point. Although retired, I keep up with new developments via the Medical Letter, and I was impressed with the Auvi-Q. Like medicine that only works when you take it, epinephrine is only helpful when you have it at the time you need it. Thanks for the heads-up

  2. Vivian Stock-Hendel says:

    Yes, my 13 year old loves his new Auvi-Q. He carries it outside of school. I wish that getting the new injector into our school district were easier. All forms reference “Epi-pen” and school personnel are trained to use the Epi-pen. Sanofi refused my request for an extra trainer for my son’s school. We are in the second largest school district in the country. Auvi-Q seems to think each school has a nurse to modify forms and request trainers for their device. Not true in Los Angeles, probably untrue for all of California. Parents take the role of health advocate and if Auvi-Q doesn’t work with parents to get the new injector into schools, it will fail no matter how cool it is.

    • Nancy Beebe says:

      We just received our first Auvi-Q auto injectors. They are pretty dumb-proof. The lady tells you every step to take when using.Each box comes with two auto injectors and a practice injector. We always order three boxes at a time, as we need to stock the school, as well as purses and our home. Ordering this way also provides multiple trainers for distribution as needed. Whenever a new device is being introduced to the school, I go inservice the nurse myself. Most importantly, I make sure my kid is familiar with the device. This new one holds a lot of promise in my book…the mere fact that it fits in a back pocket is a huge plus. It was the size and shape that sold us, not the voice prompts. I’m hoping our Auvi-Qs go unused and expire quietly next spring. However, if we have to use them, i am hoping the actual execution of the device is as smooth as the little lady makes it out to be!

  3. Eldon Huckins says:

    What is the price difference between the Auvi-Q and traditional epi-pens? I have been carrying the twin-ject but they are supposed to be going away.

  4. I checked with the representative at a conference recently and AuviQ is $350, really???

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