Sanofi launches 'talking' emergency epinephrine injector

Auvi-Q epinephrine injection devices--courtesy of Sanofi

Sanofi ($SNY) launched the first epinephrine injection that, during a severe allergy attack, verbally instructs patients and caregivers who may be overwhelmed during the emergency--a case that comes up too often, experts say.

The prescription Auvi-Q injection device, now available in the U.S., provides step-by-step instructions, including a recorded voice that instructs the user to inject the needle into the patient's leg and hold it there for 5 seconds. A verbal countdown and blinking light also make the user aware of the device's proper use.

The lights and verbal commands make the emergency process intuitive so as to put the patient and caregiver at ease. The National Institutes of Health reports that, due to fear or anxiety by the caregiver, an epinephrine shot went unadministered in as many as 70% of the cases that called for it.

The Auvi-Q, approved by the FDA in August, provides a dose of epinephrine equal to that of the more common EpiPen from Dey Pharma and is designed to combat allergy-induced anaphylaxis, which happens quickly and can be fatal. The device is the size of a cellphone, Sanofi says, and has a retractable needle for safety.

"Patient feedback was a critical component to the development process for Auvi-Q," said Sanofi North American Pharmaceuticals President Anne Whitaker in a statement. "The availability of Auvi-Q represents an important step forward in our continued innovation to meet the needs of people at risk for anaphylaxis and their caregivers."

- here's the release