- The Washington Times - Friday, October 19, 2001

FlavorX, a local company that makes medicine flavorings, is offering its syrups for free to public health agencies nationwide so that they can flavor anthrax antibiotics for children.
The company decided to send its product free after it received a call from the Georgia Public Health Department on Wednesday.
Antibiotics taken to treat anthrax Cipro, doxyciclin and penicillin come in tablets. But children can't swallow pills or tablets and require liquid medicine. The antibiotics for anthrax have to be crushed and mixed with water, producing a liquid version that is "horribly bitter," said Kenneth Kramm, president of FlavorX.
"It would make you nauseous and a kid would throw up from it," Mr. Kramm said. "So they were worried that kids won't keep the medications down, which can have a serious outcome, of course, if it's anthrax."
The conversation with the Georgia health agency led to a company meeting, when management decided to offer three of its more than 50 flavors to public health officials throughout the country free of charge.
"I would think there would be a lot of interest in finding ways to make this antibiotic as available as possible," said Lawrence Marsh, a health care analyst with Lehman Brothers.
FlavorX said yesterday it would ship its three most popular flavors grape, bubble gum and watermelon overnight once contacted by a health department in a state where anthrax has been found. So far the disease has been found only in Florida, New York and Washington.
A seven-month-old baby was infected with anthrax in New York and treated with the antibiotic.
FlavorX was developed in 1995 at the Kramm pharmacy in Friendship Heights. Hadley, Mr. Kramm's daughter, was born with cerebral palsy, and would not take her medications because they tasted bad, so Mr. Kramm and his father, a pharmacist, began mixing compounds in search of something tasty.
When Hadley began taking her medications, the Kramms turned their flavors, which can be added to prescription or nonprescription drugs, into FlavorX. The business took off.
For fiscal 2001, which ended in June, the company had about $3 million in sales. Estimated sales for this year are between $5 million and $10 million, as the company just signed up several large grocery store and pharmacy chains for its product, Mr. Kramm said.
Giant and Kroger were FlavorX's first large customers. Albertson's and CVS have signed on, and the company is in talks with Walgreen's and Safeway.

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