After attending the AAAAI conference in the spring, the vital importance of epinephrine as the cornerstone treatment for anaphylaxis was really driven home. As I reported then: "Dr. F. Estelle Simons of the University of Manitoba, and the former president of the AAAAI, emphasized that epinephrine is on the WHO's worldwide approved list of drugs because there is no alternative. However, epinephrine delivery is fraught with error on all levels of treatment: from doctors, nurses and hospitals to us, the consumers. Dr. Simons asserted that if there is any so-called failure of this treatment, it is usually because of human error."
Human error, natch. During an emergency, it's hard enough remembering your own name much less delivering life-saving medication, sometimes even for seasoned health professionals. Dr. Simons said that future plans exist to increase the availability and usability of epinephrine including a sublingual tab, an easy-to-use red button on the auto injectors and oral inhalation and nasal inhalation devices.
What about now?
Flash forward to the next year when, fingers crossed, the final approvals will go through for the latest epi-delivery system innovation: EpiCard.
The delivery system was created by 20-something wunderkind-twins (yes, twins!) with severe allergies. From their website: "Evan and Eric Edwards have seen firsthand the difficulties presented by current epinephrine delivery systems because they both grew up facing life-threatening allergies that can cause anaphylaxis. Evan and Eric, identical twins, were labeled by their allergist as some of the most allergic patients ever encountered in his practice. They grew up severely allergic to all egg products, all seafood, all tree nuts, peanuts, and many antibiotics."
The Edwards' really know the vital importance of easily accessible emergency medication.
From Intelliject's media contact: "the EpiCard, is designed to be the smallest, safest and most user friendly epinephrine auto-injector. The EpiCard features Intelliject's Prompt Technology, which includes voice instructions and visual cues to help guide patients and caregivers through epinephrine administration. The EpiCard is in pre-approval phase three clinical stage, and will be ready to submit to the FDA for new drug approval (NDA)within next several months."
An example of what they mean by voice instructions is that the card has a chip inside that will give the user exact instructions on how to administer the medication. For example: 1. Instruct the patient to remove the safety tab. 2. Press the Black End on Outer Thigh. 3. Hold while EpiCard counts down to Injection. 4. Inform patient injection complete and to call 911.
How exciting is that?
I will have a chance to interview the company's founders and fellow food allergy sufferers very soon. Stay tuned!