Kenny Kramm, who as a distraught father concocted a flavored additive for his infant daughter’s anti-seizure drug, later marketing FLAVORx products through pharmacies across the country and helping make the medicine go down for millions of children, died July 12 at a hospital in Washington, D.C. He was 55.

He contracted an infection that resulted in sepsis and cardiac arrest, said his wife, Shelley Kramm.

The son of a pharmacist, Kramm grew up working at his family’s business, Center Pharmacy in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Washington. He had joined the operation as a business manager by 1992, when he and his wife had their second daughter, Hadley.

Severely premature, she suffered a brain hemorrhage when she was 10 days old and developed disabilities including cerebral palsy.

Hadley also suffered from life-threatening seizures that required four doses per day of phenobarbital, a foul-tasting drug that she would often throw up.

Shelley Kramm recalled that she begged her husband to search the resources of the family pharmacy for a way of making the drug more palatable for Hadley. Working with his father, Kramm tested an array of candy flavorings with the phenobarbital.

Hadley “rejected at least 10 before she finally accepted banana,” Kramm told Inc. magazine..

Convinced that the product could be useful for other families, the Kramms began offering flavored additives for prescriptions at their pharmacy. Kramm credited his father with doing “all the technical stuff”– while he did “all the tasting.”

They developed dozens of flavors.

According to the Kramms, the additives, which they dubbed FLAVORx, transformed their business. The pharmacy’s once largely elderly clientele came to include many families with young children.

Kramm became chief executive of FLAVORx, a company incorporated in the mid-1990s, and began licensing the product to other independent pharmacies and later to chains such as CVS, Walgreens, Safeway and Rite Aid. A single prescription could be flavored for between $2 and $5.

By 2007, Kramm told reporters, FLAVORx products were sold in half of all U.S. pharmacies, as well as in Canada and Australia, and had been used in 40 million prescriptions.

“It might seem like a small thing,” he said, “but if you can’t get that medicine … into a child’s body, you can’t do any good.”

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