Local brothers offer alternative to pricey EpiPen

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — There will soon be an alternative to the pricey Epipen.

It’s called Auvi-Q and it is an epinephrine auto-injector. Auvi-Q talks you through what to do if you or someone else is suffering a severe allergic reaction. The device is set to return to the market in 2017.

The device was created by Evan Edwards and his twin brother Eric, both from Chesterfield County who graduated of Monacan high school.

The brothers explain that it works similar to the EpiPen, but is more compact.

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“Auvi-Q is the length and width of a credit card and and the thickness of a small cell phone,” Evan told 8News.

Evan and Eric have severe allergies and kids with allergies and hated carrying around that large EpiPen.

“We really wanted to design something small and compact that could be with you at all times,” Evan explained.

215e3798dc98437c9b494cb4e910a292Some, however, maybe apprehensive about Auvi-Q. It was recalled in 2015 amid concerns the product was not delivering the accurate dosage of epinephrine.

“That was devastating to us,”Evan admitted.

Kaleo pharmaceuticals, founded by Eric and located in Richmond, has taken over production. Evan says the auto-injector is now produced on a robotic line with over 100 quality checks.

“I think the most important thing is keeping in mind this is personal for us,” Eric said. “We have children we may have to use this on.”

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National group FARE, which stands for Food Allergy Research & Education, tells 8News the food allergy community has been awaiting the return of this product.

“The issues that led to the recall would appear not be an issue going forward given changes in manufacturing. FARE believes Americans should have options for epinephrine auto-injectors.” — FARE

The Edwards brothers couldn’t yet give an exact price of the product, but promised this: “One thing is for sure, the price to the patient is going to be low.”

The voice of the Auvi-Q instructions is also local; it’s the voice of radio host Melissa Chase.

Auvi-Q is set to return to drug stores the first half of next year.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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