SharkTank Episode Highlights Needle Fear Epidemic Facing 59 Million Americans
<0> For MMJ LabsPaul D. Snyder, 404-414-4240 </0>
Pain researcher and Buzzy CEO Amy Baxter, MD nixed a deal with ABC’s Shark Tank on February 28th, but since the episode aired, demand for her needle-numbing invention has exploded, bumping sales 13225% percent over the same period last year. Just as the Sharks suggested, business-to-business healthcare companies have already reached out.
Dr. Baxter is more committed than ever to the mission that brought her to Shark Tank: highlighting a silent crisis that often results in the failure to get life-saving health care. According to Dr. Anna Taddio, approximately 24% of adults - or 59 million Americans - have a severe fear of needles. This number has risen 250% since 1995, in part due to a six-fold increase in the number of recommended vaccines since the 1970s, according to the CDC. Studies show that many who fear needles are less likely to vaccinate their own children.
“I am grateful to the Sharks for allowing me to bring the issue of needle phobia to light on national television,” said Baxter. “Now people know there is a real solution for pain and fear.”
Medical professionals are beginning to recognize they can intervene - 1,200 hospitals use Buzzy. Before Shark Tank, 36,000 units had already shipped. A month before the episode aired, Dr. Baxter accepted a $250,000 grant from the Chase Bank Mission Main Street program. “Now we have the money we need to scale, without compromising to make Buzzy disposable.”
Her company is partnering with HealthWell Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps adults and children facing medical emergencies pay for life-changing treatments they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. During Shark Tank, $5 from each Shark Tank Special sold on Amazon helps HealthWell’s mission. By Summer 2014, HealthWell hopes to help families who can’t afford Buzzies to get access.
MMJ Labs was established to reduce worldwide pain through inexpensive reusable personal products and research. The company’s flagship pain management product, Buzzy®, is used by more than 1,200 hospitals and 36,000 users, and was a Medical Design Excellence Awards recipient in 2011. Invented in 2004 by Dr. Amy Baxter, a physician of emergency pediatrics and pain researcher, Buzzy R&D was funded by a $1.1M NIH Fast-Track SBIR grant. MMJ Labs donates 10% of profits to organizations that help relieve suffering. For more information, visit .