About Kaléo

The Kaléo Way

Kaléo Pharma is a pharmaceutical company based in Richmond, Virginia. It was founded by twin brothers who suffered from serious allergies, and were forced to carry a dose of epinephrine with them at all times, which led them to create a new way to administer this dose and establish a whole new method of injection.

The company prides itself in being a “new kind of pharmaceutical company” with the intent of saving people from life threatening medical conditions. According to their website, they believe that the most knowledgeable person about how a disease effects a patient is the patient themselves. The company insists that it is patient oriented, a very smart business strategy, as our business world continues to move more and more customer centered.

The company’s mission is to “provide demonstrably superior medical products that empower you and your caregivers to confidently take control in potentially life threatening situations.” Throughout the Kaléo website, they stress patient and customer oriented treatment, as well as their deep catalog of knowledge on various medical conditions. Every product they release is a combination of a proven medicine and a new, innovative way to administer the medicine. This is meant to keep the company ahead of the rest of the industry, as well as create and discover convenient and efficient ways for the patient to get their treatment.

Along with their Mission Statement, Kaléo displays six company values, titled “The Kaléo Way”. The six steps are: Purposeful/Passionate Culture, Personal Integrity, Mutual Respect, Professional Accountability, Winning Teamwork, and Innovation/Excellence.

Some of the products that they produce are Evzio, a naloxone HCL injection used to treat depression and opioid overdoses, and Auvi-Q, a product in direct competition with the epi-pen and the cause of much controversy in regards to its affordability.

The corporate history of Kaléo, founded 2008, actually began as the corporate history of Intelliject, Inc.- the original name of the company before the switch was made in January of 2014. The reason for the name change is because the name itself is meant to align with the company’s vision and mission, as “kaléo” is derived from the Greek word for “purpose”, as the company has always stressed that their mission and goals are patient oriented.

Kaléo is a private company, therefore there is no stock information available. That being said, the pharmaceutical industry rakes in over $1 Trillion worldwide, with the North American market accounting for nearly 49%, or just under $500 Million, of the worldwide revenue. Kaléo is competitive with all of its products, so it is safe to say that they do make money- the exact amount is just difficult to say from an outside position.







Fair Selling at Kaléo?

Kaléo Pharma, an American pharmaceutical company, is in hot water for raising the cost of an overdose antidote and for selling an epi-pen alternative called the Auvi-Q for $4,500. The Auvi-Q is automatic and offers audio instructions on how to administer the antidote, less than $5 worth, to the patient. In 2015 the Auvi-Q was listed at $450- 10% of the current price.

What is quite interesting is that the Auvi-Q was pulled from the market after malfunctioning- it was delivering inconsistent doses of epinephrine, failing to do precisely what it is designed to do.


The price increases of both the Epipen from Mylan and the Auvi-Q of Kaléo, before the cease of production in late 2015.

Another intriguing piece of information about the Auvi-Q from Kaléo is that its co-pay, the customer’s out of pocket cost, is quite low relative to the rest of the market for epi-pens. This creates better access to markets for the drug companies, allowing them to sell more drugs. Also, the company says that the high price allows for greater discounts, and the rest of the costs to be shouldered by insurance companies.

This begs the question- how in the world is it ethical or logical to sell a product 10 times the amount of the original price to a customer base that needs the product in order to survive, especially after it had failed previously? This sounds a lot like pharmaceutical greed, something that is not unheard of. The most recent drug related incident of this nature was Martin Shkreli a few years ago, after he jacked the price of an anti parasitic drug from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill, an action that was clearly unethical.


The overall price increases of the Epinephrine market.

Kaléo is at a crossroads, the best move for the company could be to keep the price high and reap the benefits of having a very high profit margin. The company could utilize that fact that this product is in such high demand, and people/insurance providers will pay for it if it is needed. However, they could also keep the price lower and still make a profit, though not as high, and keep the price for the Auvi-Q at a much more affordable level for its customers, as well as lower the price of the bill that insurance companies must cover.

Along with the Auvi-Q, Kaléo is under fire for spiking the cost of their opioid overdoes treatment, Evzio. Evzio is also offered for $4,500, and has audio instructions to make it easy for anyone to administer a potentially life-saving injection to themselves or someone else. This administers naloxone rather than epinephrine, still at a very low production cost, allowing Kaléo to reap huge profits from its sale.