Please excuse the thread drift but this is something I know a little about. If it makes you feel better to send emails go right ahead but don’t expect anything from Reletex (Neurowave Medical Technologies) because I believe that they are only interested in maximizing profit and they have a method to do that. Here’s the storey:
Reliefband was owned/manufactured by Woodside Biomedical, Inc., in Carlsbad, California.
In the search for antiemetics with less side effects and/or that were cheaper (oh, the irony) there were several clinical trials that tried Reliefband to help alleviate post-operative and chemo. induced nausea. Anyone who is interested can look these up in PubMed. I’m not sure who paid for these trials and I can’t be bothered to research it but they were probably paid for in full or part by NIH grants, i.e. U.S. taxpayer dollars.
Abbott Laboratories either purchased Woodside Biomedical or purchased the rights to Reliefband and Woodside Biomedical closed down.
Based on the advantages as described in the medical trials, someone, I believe Abbott but possibly Neurowave Medical Technologies, gained FDA approval. This is the key thing because it then allowed Reliefband (now known as Reletex) to become an approved medical device that could be charged to medical insurance, thus opening the doors significantly larger profits.
Abbot sold the rights to Neurowave Medical Technologies. Neurowave Medical Technologies is a privately held Illinois coporation based in Chicago. If you want to find out who owns the company, you can pull the corporate record if you want but the board of directors comprises middle eastern medical marketers and U.S. venture capitalists as follows:
Khalid Alagel is the Founder and CEO of The Gulf Care Group (GCG), an innovative healthcare consulting company which develops international patient programs for client hospitals.
Wilbur H. Gantz, III is President and Chief Executive Officer of PathoCapital LLC, a privately owned company investing in the healthcare field.
Farhan Hussain is the President and CEO of Neurowave Medical Technologies. Prior to NMT, Mr. Hussain was a founding partner of The Gulfcare Group (GCG).
Bruce V. Rauner is chairman of GTCR, a Chicago-based venture capital and private equity firm.
Also address for the U.S. office of Gulf Care Group is the same as the address of Neurowave Medical Technologies.
Clearly their model is to maximize profits by marketing single use medical devices to medical facilities who will use them help their patients. And because it is now a medical device and insurance will pay, they can charge much higher prices than before. And because it is single use, they can sell more of them.
I don’t believe they have any incentive to market to the public or to make a device with reusable batteries. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.
An interesting update to the Reletex/Neurowave saga: West Marine is now offering the ComfortQuest anti-motion sickness wrist band - correction, it is in the catalog and on the web site, but is shown as "out of stock." This device has a different design from the (former) Relief band, but the description is very similar (excerpt from the West Marine web site):
"The Comfort Quest Anti-Seasickness Band is a small, medical device designed to be worn on the underside of the wrist. It provides fast, moderate relief from nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness by applying gentle electrical stimulation to the nerves in your wrist. Approximately 150 hours of battery life at medium strength. Water resistant. Includes two CR2032 standard watch batteries, which are replaceable and available in many locations. Band does not require conductivity gel."
Note the key phrase about replaceable batteries!
But there is a fly in this ointment: On June 24, Neurowave filed a lawsuit against ComfortQuest alleging patent infringement. The details are quite interesting; apparently the former Director of Operations at Neurowave and its predecessor company, a Thomas Mann, is a director or officer of ComfortQuest. A Joseph Norris, also alleged to be a director or officer of ComfortQuest, was a sales rep for Neurowave. I gleaned this information from the complaint which you can read here:
Speculation: might this lawsuit have something to do with West Marine now showing the ComfortQuest watch band as "out of stock"? Who knows. As of this morning (July 7), it is available from drugstore.com for $99, a significant savings over WM. I snapped up two; we'll see if they actually ship. Also available at various online sites is the "anti-morning sickness" version of the ComfortQuest band - which looks identical to the "anti-motion sickness" version except for the feminine color scheme. Get 'em while they are hot!
For those who, like myself, harbor considerable resentment and animosity towards Neurowave for its greed - so carefully documented in the lengthly quote above from Geoff54 - the complaint says that Neurowave has been planning for re-entry into the Over-the-Counter market of its devices and that this effort has been "materially hindered by Defendant Comfort Quest’s selling of the Accused Products to Neurowave’s former customer of the OTC Devices." Gee, isn't it nice to learn that Neurowave considers the people it abandoned its "customers"?