HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Most of us have had hiccups before. For some, hiccups go away quickly, while for others, they can last for months and become a quality-of-life issue.
A young woman from Manchester invented a solution that she hopes will be a game-changer and help people with chronic hiccups.
MJ Kievman, a Manchester native, runs a biotech company called Meter Health. She invented the “Hiccupops,” which is a lollipop that helps stop the hiccups.
“I’m deeply passionate about this. Yeah, I’ve been at it for a long time,” Kievman said.
She’s been working on this for ten years.
“When I was a kid about 12 years old, I developed what I now know were likely chronic hiccups, so I had hiccups for around three months,” Kievman said.
She began researching and testing solutions in her kitchen to help find a remedy, and she noticed something in the process.
“Very little tried and true remedies or products or solutions that were available, and that’s what kind of sparked this whole process,” Kievman said.
She quickly realized that there was a need.
“Because I think hiccups especially are one of these conditions that’s easy to look at as stupid or silly or minor or say, ‘this will just go away in time for everyone,’” Kievman said.
Kievman says that’s not the case for people undergoing chemotherapy treatments or dialysis where chronic hiccups can be a side effect.
“There are steroids in medications that are used in chemotherapy regimens that are linked to chronic hiccups in the literature,” Kievman said.
This summer, her Hiccupops hit store shelves, proving hard work pays off.
“It took a long time to go from the kitchen experimenting to go to an actual product,” Kievman said.
The lollipops can be found at CVS locations across the country, but she’s really excited for the next chapter for her company as the FDA is currently working on approval for hiccup-preventing pills that will soon hit the market.
“To date, there are no FDA approved treatments for chronic or clinically significant hiccups and no FDA drug from intractable hiccups. It’s my goal to provide the first treatment for people who really need it,” Kievman said.
Her advice for other young inventors and aspiring CEOs is to not give up.
“That’s exactly why you do it, to help other people improve their quality of life to make their lives better,” Kievman said.