Monday, February 18, 2013

How Come No One Paid Me to Blog About Auvi-Q?

The lady was a tramp...
Oh, Sanofi.

I'm so disappointed. I hear from my peeps that you flew a bunch of bloggers out to your headquarters, paid for their trip, wined and dined them...just so they'd have the opportunity to review your Auvi-QTM epinephrine injector.

Now I know what Mary Boleyn must have felt like, after giving it away to King Henry for free. Her sister held out for the Queenship and, sure enough, the king bought the Royal Cow in the end. (Of course, that story ended rather badly...but I'm sure the bloggers all got home safely with their virtue mostly intact.)

Maybe you didn't invite me because you knew I had already done my part to review the Auvi-Q. (Milk...cow...free...back in August, for heaven's sake!) Maybe you didn't invite me because I don't have enough readers.

Maybe you didn't invite me because of the (shhh!!!) bitch in my name.

But see? That's exactly why I've kept the BITCH in my name, despite it being offensive to some people. It reminds me, every single day, that I'm not out to make a buck, or a name for myself. I started this column because I was simply frustrated, and the day I start pandering to corporate overlords is the day I really want to stop writing. (That's what my day job is for.) The "bitch" stops me in my tracks before I start lobbying for FARE advocacy awards. It keeps me from taking myself too seriously.

Not that your funding the bloggers' trips influenced them in any way. I'm sure it didn't. Really.

If you had flown me out, I would have told you that, for the most part, I do like it. I think my son will like it. Smaller is definitely better (not that Mary Boleyn would agree).

But — and I admit this is petty — the name is pretty stupid. "U" and "V" are just not letters that naturally go together. I keep calling this thing an "Audi-Q"...and when I search on it that way, you know what I get.


So, yeah, could have spent a little more money with the branding agency to come up with something that doesn't make me think of cool sports cars or jr. high audio-video equipment.

I also think it's tough to figure out how to carry that second dose of epinephrine. Cell phone in one back pocket, first-dose Auvi-Q in another pocket...where does the second dose go? But again, that's pretty petty.

I also think the woman who does the voiceover ar-ti-cu-lates in an an-noy-ing- way. (Petty again.)

Less petty, though, is my fear of medical device failure. The Epi-Pen is a tried and true device with 25 years of history behind it. I hope the Auvi-Q does equally well when it comes to consistently working when called on...but I'll feel better once it has a track record. Until then, I'll probably ask my son to carry both devices.

Which sort of defeats the purpose.

If you had flown me out to meet, what I most would have wanted to tell you is that people who read my blog (or ANY of the blogs where you - um - encouraged positive product reviews with your generosity) are already using auto injectors. You're preaching to the choir. I guess it's good to take market share from Mylan if you can, but it would be better to simply get more people to carry epinephrine.


Perhaps you already read my column about Slacker Moms (and Mylan's "let them eat cake" product positioning failure ) since now you're apparently getting sued by Mylan for claiming that 2/3rds of the people who should carry epinephrine simply don't. That's great that you're aware of the issue. But, as I said back in August, a cooler device and audio instructions aren't going to be the way into these people's hearts. (And Mylan...really? Meow!)

So, it's probably good you didn't blow all that money to fly me out, because I would have told you something you already knew: the concept of carrying emergency epinephrine is a tough sell. Too many people are willing to play the odds that lightning simply won't strike them.

I think it's great that we have another emergency option. But I can't help wondering what the world would look like if we had poured the money it took to develop and market this new device into research to simply cure this sucker.

It's not a zero-sum game, I know. But I just can't help but think that the $10k you guys probably spent to fly out eight or ten bloggers, just to reach people who are already on-board, is a conspicuous reminder of how much profit is at stake here.

Forgive me for hoping a cure will some day completely dry up your market.


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