Kaléo, maker of EpiPen rival Auvi-Q, returns to the wide world of sports to highlight severe allergies and the life-threatening reactions they can cause—the very reactions Auvi-Q is meant to combat.
For the face of the campaign, Kaléo recruited NASCAR Xfinity Series racecar driver Elliott Sadler, whose son Wyatt is allergic to peanuts—and carries Auvi-Q as insurance against his life-threatening anaphylaxis. Over the next several months, Sadler will travel the country to talk about his son's experiences and how to be prepared for a serious reaction.
“To outperform the competition as a NASCAR driver, it's key to be safe, fast and have clear verbal direction. The same can be said for those who need to be prepared in the event of a life-threatening allergic reaction,” Kaléo said in a statement.
Kaléo is pushing that “verbal direction” element in particular, as Auvi-Q’s step-by-step voice instructions are its hallmark—and a benefit that Mylan's market dominator EpiPen can’t boast.
The feature, which Kaléo calls the Auvi-Q Trainer, “is designed to guide an untrained user through the steps to administer epinephrine safely using Auvi-Q in an allergic emergency, much like how Elliott's chief crew communicates with him throughout the race. It's important to act fast, but safely,” Kaléo said in a statement.
“Anyone who’s watching Wyatt can learn how to use it. Even Wyatt knows what to do,” Sadler said.
Last year, Kaléo took a different sports-related tack to help it drum up severe allergy awareness. It linked up with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) to help teams across the country host peanut-free games. Those events nixed in-park sales of peanuts or peanut-containing products and included inside-the-park informational displays and messaging. That effort will continue this MiLB season, a spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile, Mylan has done its part to increase awareness around severe allergies, too. Its ultrarealistic “Face Your Risk” campaign showed an anaphylactic attack through the eyes of a teenage girl, and it’s joined forces with Disney in the past to roll out EpiPen stations in parks and on cruise ships.
And Auvi-Q has a long way to go. Though EpiPen has lost market share lately—its four-week share as of April 20 had dropped by 74.3% year over year—it's mostly Impax Labs and its Adrenaclick injection stealing prescriptions, at least for now. Auvi-Q's piece of the pie only amounts to 1.2%, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Randall Stanicky.